Friday, August 7

Guess Doubling Up On Station Ownership Didn't Work


When companies take over multiple TV stations in the same market claiming it makes sound business sense keeping stations viable, do they know what they're doing? I guess that business model worked out so well that New Vision ended up bankrupt?


WYTV to Eliminate 5 p.m. Newscast;
New Vision Expedites Chapter 11 Exit

By Andrea Wood

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- As the operators of WKBN/WYFX and WYTV sail through bankruptcy reorganization with a hearing set for Sept. 10 to confirm the restructuring of $400 million in debt, local management today announced it will eliminate one newscast effective Sept. 21.

WYTV’s 5 p.m. weekday newscast will be replaced with a syndicated version of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” says Dave Coy, general manager of the three TV stations. WYTV will continue to broadcast a local news program at 5:30 p.m., he notes.

Coy emphasizes no newsroom jobs will be lost -- just as no jobs have been lost in parent company NV Broadcasting's Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Nor has employee compensation been cut by the 14-station group, unlike the measures taken by other broadcasters and newspapers across the country as they grapple with the recession that has reduced advertising revenues, he says.

The programming decision includes a new 4 p.m. program on WYTV -- “Dr. Oz", a medical and lifestyle advice show with Dr. Mehmot Oz, professor of surgery at Columbia University.

Part of the rationale for the changes is that WYTV and WKBN will no longer compete for news viewers at 5 p.m., Coy notes. Instead, viewers seeking local news at 5 can watch WKBN’s program and those who look for local news at 5:30 can watch WYTV.

“This is the strongest lead-in programming we have ever built going into the late afternoon important news block,” adds Gary Coursen, news director of WKBN/WYFX and WYTV. “We are still meeting the needs of local news viewers at 5, while providing engaging entertainment for those who want their news a little later.”

Yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, parent company NV Broadcasting received court approval to expedite hearings on its consensual reorganization plan.


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