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Double dose of news - Broadcasting & Cable

Double dose of news

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Wilkes-Barre, Pa., NBC affiliate WBRE-TV and CBS affiliate WYOU(TV), which
have different owners but operate under a shared-services agreement, last week
launched morning and midday news simulcasts on both stations.

Al Zobel, news director for both stations, said each station is operating its
own master control for separate cut-ins and commercials and to keep the
separate station bugs on the screen. Zobel likened it to creating a new show and
syndicating it to two stations, albeit in the same market.

Zobel said the programming can work better in the weather- and traffic-heavy
mornings and midday than other time slots, and the two stations will
remain competitive in evening newscasts, each with a separate assistant news
director.

Both assistant news directors, Frank Andrews and WBRE-TV's Paul Steuber, have
been news director at the market's still-dominant station, WNEP-TV.

"In trying to find an alternative to WNEP," Zobel said, "we're combining the
best from each station. Our Monday noon newscast had three live shots. Alone, we
would never have been able to produce that kind of newscast."

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