Taking the pledge in Maine
Both of Maine's NBC affiliates have decided not to air hard-liquor ads, despite the network's change in policy last month. WCSH(TV) Portland General Manager Steve Thaxton said his station and WLBZ(TV) Bangor decided the ads were inconsistent with "what these stations stand for." Both Gannett-owned stations are involved in community anti- tobacco, anti-substance–abuse and sexual-abstinence campaigns. Gannett, which has 13 NBC affiliates among its 22 stations, said that it is unaware of other stations' rejecting such ads but the decisions are being made at the local level.
WUVG-TV Atlanta last week relaunched under its new Univision ownership as a Spanish-language station. The former ratings-challenged USA Network station was known as "Hotlanta 34." Atlanta's Hispanic population tripled in the 1990s and now totals more than 400,000. In addition to Univision programming, WUVG-TV will air a locally produced 30-minute weekly community-affairs show, Nuestra Georgia.
Gaylord Communications will keep the country-music format for WSM(AM) Nashville, Tenn., the AM home of the Grand Ole Opry. Gaylord CEO Colin Reed said, "We concluded that WSM is a gem that just needs some polishing. We want to keep the country format and build on its incredible heritage and the loyalty of its listeners." Reports that the station might switch to all-sports talk raised an outcry among country-music fans.