WYOU Scraps News
Mission station will save close to a million a year
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/3/2009 2:48:05 PM
Mission Broadcasting's WYOU Wilkes-Barre is replacing local news with syndicated shows such as Judge Joe Brown, Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight. Nexstar's WBRE had produced news at WYOU, and says it will save around $900,000 a year by doing away with the local product.
A CBS affiliate, WYOU's current newscasts include programs at 4, 6, 7 and 11 p.m. The schedule change takes place tomorrow.
Fourteen full-time employees lose their jobs today.
"The viewers have spoken, letting us know that WYOU is the station they rely on for entertainment and we are confident the station's already solid line up will be bolstered with the addition of entertainment and news magazine programming," said Mission Broadcasting EVP/COO Dennis Thatcher, "including Judge Joe Brown, Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight which will replace the station's news programming."
Local TV's WNEP grabs about half the revenue share in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. As the profit margins at TV stations continue to shrink, many believe that a large number of stations in runner-up positions will scrap costly news outfits in the coming months.
I totally disagree with the decision to cancel WYOU's news show. You are totally wrong when you say that no one watched the interactive news show. I absolutely loved it and for on, stayed up every night to watch it even though I have to go to work early every weekday morning. I no longer stay awake to watch the news and I'm sure I am not the only one that will miss Eric Scheiner (sic) and Lyndall Stout. I totally regret your decision!
D. Oakes - 5/2/2009 8:06:37 AM EDT
It's a travesty that market 54 cannot support more than two broadcast television news operations, even in this economy. The market has two strong daily newspapers, something increasingly rare even in much larger markets. Of course, something far more insidious is going on here. The elephant in the room is the arms-length relationship between Nexstar and 'Mission Broadcasting.' It's a fraud and a farce, and shame on the FCC for allowing this blatantly illegal arrangement to continue. Nexstar gave the game away completely when they admitted in the press release that folding WYOU would result in $900K in savings to THEIR bottom line. Not the 'Mission Broadcasting' bottom line, mind you, but THEIRS. They put one over on the FCC, and they're not even remotely afraid of getting caught. Hopefully this event as well as the tragedies in Syracuse and Peoria will force the FCC's hand and undo these Big 4 duopolies that do not serve the public interest in any way, shape or form.
Cat Handler - 4/9/2009 12:17:10 AM EDT
Would someone like to tell me how mindless, syndicated programming is a result of viewer demand and better serves the public interest? I'd sooner think it serves the interest of Nexstar's wallet since a big deal was made about the $900,000 savings as reported in their Press Release. There was a time when television stations were owned by individuals interested in television, interested in public service, and interested in news in order to keep our citizens informed. What has happened to WYOU is simply another sad example of how the FCC has failed our country by allowing venture capitalists who know nothing about television to buy up our media outlets and destroy them so the owners can turn a few bucks. Goodbye WYOU. Northeast Pennsylvania will miss you.
Kathie DelGuercio - 4/3/2009 10:46:33 PM EDT
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