Acme's Buzz to go national

Acme's morning show—from Dayton, Ohio—grows even before it launches
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Acme Broadcasting's morning show The Daily Buzz,
which launches today at all 10 of its owned stations, will expand at the end of the month into over a hundred more small markets.

The three-hour morning show targeting younger viewers and, unlikely enough, produced out of WBDT(TV) Dayton, Ohio, will launch Sept. 30 on another 109 cable-based local stations belonging to The WB+ group. That includes all markets smaller than DMA No. 100, except Lafayette, Ind., and Fairbanks, Alaska.

Acme's stations are in markets as large as St. Louis (DMA No. 22); Portland, Ore. (DMA No. 23); Salt Lake City (DMA No. 35); and Albuquerque, N.M. (DMA No. 48), covering 5.4% of the country. All the Acme stations are WB affiliates, except KASY-TV, Acme's second Albuquerque station, which is affiliated with UPN. The additional 109 cable markets will add another 7.5%.

Acme's owner, Jamie Kellner, was founder of The WB and is now chairman of Turner Broadcasting, but the Acme group is a separate entity. While the WB 100+ group is part of the same broad Acme family, Acme President Doug Gealy sees the quick expansion as a solid "foot in the door" for even wider syndication.

The show will not be branded as a WB product and isn't limited to WB affiliates. Gealy said UPN, Fox and other younger-skewing affils that don't have morning shows have expressed interest and Acme is considering going with a syndicator for distribution.

While network morning shows more obviously reflect their New York City locations, Gealy said, with satellite technology and on-location reports, the Buzz's Midwest, mid-market home doesn't have to be limiting. "We picked Dayton because we needed a station in the Eastern time zone, and this one had our best studio facility and good staffing," Gealy said. "It was a strong station for a startup."