KRON tinkers into year two as indie

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KRON-TV San Francisco started its second year as an independent this month
with a mild shakeup, dropping several staffers -- including morning anchor Mark
Mullen -- and cutting the production schedule of local program Bay Area
Backroads
.

Like last year, KRON-TV got good Bay Area ratings for its Rose Parade
coverage, but this year, the anchors remembered to pronounce it "KRON" and not
"K-RON."

General manager Paul "Dino" Dinovitz said the changes last week were
made to redirect resources, but not out of financial difficulty.

He and Deb McDermott, executive vice president of KRON-TV owner Young Broadcasting Inc.,
lauded station staff for maintaining the strength of its news brand even without
network programming.

Once a contender and the market's top-rated station as an NBC affiliate, it
now ranks fifth, Dinovitz said.

But as an independent, with more inventory to sell and more dayparts to fill,
"we redefine what winning is," McDermott said. "What may be a victory today
wouldn't have been a victory when we were an NBC affiliate," she added,
citing numerous second- and third-place time-slot finishes without the help of
Friends, ER and Katie Couric.

A particular bright spot was the launch of Dr. Phil, which has proven
to be a strong performer in its prime-time spot and an effective
lead-in for KRON's prime-time news, Dinovitz said.

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