About that NBC plan to repurpose Nightly News on Pax (B & C, April 24): Never mind, at least for now.
NBC said last Friday it was postponing the Nightly repurposing plan until it had time to negotiate with several of its larger affiliate groups and get them to sign off on local joint sales agreements with Pax stations in their markets.
"The feedback from the affiliates was it might be premature to do the Nightly News [repurpose on Pax], but why don't we figure out if we can get these JSA's done," said Randy Falco, president, the NBC Television Network. "I am happy to have those discussions, and I want to get a focus on this thing."
So far, only the NBC-owned stations have agreed to joint ventures with local Pax stations. But that's a corporate edict stemming from NBC's acquisition of 32% of Pax last year. Still, affiliates are interested in exploring JSA opportunities, said Alan Frank, president of Post Newsweek stations and head of the NBC affiliate advisory board.
"I give him credit," Frank said of Falco. "He listened to the affiliates and realized that using Nightly News on Paxson right now might not be the best way to accomplish what he was trying to do." He said that he and other affiliates are committed to seeing if there is a way to make a revamped Pax "work for everybody."
Last week's development came after talks with Frank and executives at Belo, Gannett and Hearst-Argyle, all of whom have agreed to continue JSA talks over the next few months.