WHDH Says It Won’t Run ‘Leno’
Sunbeam station defies network, wants to run news
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/2/2009 8:47:20 PM
NBC affiliate WHDH Boston says it will run a new newscast at 10 p.m. come fall—at the expense of the new primetime Jay Leno program. The Sunbeam-owned station announced its new 10 p.m. news on its Website.
“Starting in September, you will be able to watch 7NEWS at 10 p.m. on 7NBC,” reads WHDH.com. “For those of you who have a hard time staying awake, Frances Rivera and Kim Khazei will bring you a full hour of local news an hour earlier, followed by 7NEWS at 11.”
WHDH’s move was previously reported on the Boston Globe Website.
The NBC affiliates are to debut the as-yet untitled Leno program in the fall. General managers are mixed on the show—thankful that Leno is not jumping to another network, but fearful the program will post middling ratings and harm their late news ratings.
The NBC affiliates board has a committee dedicated to working with the network to shape the program to help retain viewers for late news—an uncommon concession for affiliates. The board says NBC has been receptive to their input.
Sunbeam owner Ed Ansin told the Globe he felt local news would do better than Leno.
"We feel we have a real opportunity with running the news at 10 p.m. We don't think the Leno show is going to be effective in primetime," he said. "It will be detrimental to our 11 o'clock. It will be very adverse to our finances."
NBC fired back, Network TV President John Eck saying: "WHDH's move is a flagrant violation of the terms of their contract with NBC. If they persist, we will strip WHDH of its NBC affiliation. We have a number of other strong options in the Boston market, including using our existing broadcast license to launch an NBC owned and operated station."
An email to WHDH at presstime was not returned.
linda boudreau - 4/8/2009 12:49:44 PM EDT
The key questions for ANY NBC affiliate right now, is how do you get viewers to your late news. NBC hasn't had much af a lead-in to late news in a long time, yet strong stations have kept their news dominance anyway. And what's up with NBC promoting MSNBC and CNBC in all their (numerous) open spots? Between all those promos and the GE spots (no charge I'm sure)they must not be making much off their network sales efforts anyway... hence the whole Leno thing to begin with!
Media Mark Walker - 4/6/2009 5:19:01 PM EDT
So WHDH is dying slowly....
Good for you! You lost not only your dignity with 2 11PM women anchors, but now you want MORE news when you already have the most in the Boston Region.
You have way too much breaking news, and you care more about that then the network.
They should dump you! You don't care about NBC. You guys care about money, well guess what
If you don't take Leno: Your advertising will plummet!!
As for where to go: FOX should take it, but since it is an O&O it is unlikely. Telemondo NBC would stink.
so this looks like a loss in many ways, question is: which loss is the better loss??
Michael - 4/4/2009 11:00:36 PM EDT
I would like NBC Universal,Gannett,Post Newsweek Stations Inc. or Cox Enterprises to BUY WHDH-TV Boston.NBC affiliation SHOULD STAY with WHDH-TV However I want the FCC to strip Sunbeam television ownership from WHDH-TV they are such Bozos for refusing to air leno at 10:00PM.
Dan Rakow - 4/4/2009 11:56:28 AM EDT
Lee Catalano - 4/3/2009 6:28:20 PM EDT
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