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Pax news, in fact - Broadcasting & Cable

Pax news, in fact

Weblet makes deal to re-broadcast local NBC newscasts, but sources say it has plans to begin offering its own
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Once, Pax TV talked about re-broadcasting The Nightly News With Tom Brokaw. Now, the 2-year-old broadcast network is looking to get into the original news business and possibly the local sports broadcasting market as well in the coming months.

Pax, now partially owned by NBC, is expected to add live, original newscasts in several major markets by the end of the summer, sources say. Many of the newscasts will be produced by NBC stations in top-20 markets, the result of recently completed joint sales agreements.

Pax stations in New York City and Washington will likely lead the way, with other markets expected to follow. In Los Angeles and Chicago, local PAX affiliates will be carrying only re-broadcasts of the NBC station's newscasts. But sources say those markets may also move into doing original news down the road.

The newscasts are expected to be produced out of the NBC stations' studios, but it is unclear whether there will be anchors hired just to do the Pax broadcasts or whether NBC O & O talent will pick up the slack.

"We're still trying to figure how it all works out, but there will be some stations announcing original newscasts in the coming weeks," one source says.

Last week, Pax TV President Dean Goodman unveiled JSAs in the top four U.S. markets (wnbc-tv New York, KNBC-TV Los Angeles, WMAQ-TV Chicago and WCAU-TV Philadelphia) and announced that more than a dozen Pax stations will soon be carrying re-broadcasts of local news from either NBC O/O stations or NBC affiliates.

In Chicago, Dick Kay, WMAQ-TV newsman and local AFTRA president, said the union would file a grievance if members aren't paid extra for their work being shown on another station.

Pax now has JSAs with 11 of the 13 NBC owned-and-operated stations. In San Diego and Columbus, Ohio, Pax doesn't have stations.

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