Signing off in Fla.


The Sinclair Broadcast Group has pulled the plug on the 31/2-year-old news operation of WTWC (tv) Tallahassee, Fla. Its last broadcast will be at the end of this month. It will mean the end of 37 jobs, 22 of them full time. Sinclair said it will try to help match employees to other Sinclair news operations.

The station had been doing news at 6 a.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weekdays and 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weekends. Barry Drake, CEO of Sinclair's Television Division, said the decision was not an easy one but the newscast at the NBC affiliate had never been profitable. The newscast had been started when the station was owned by Guy Gannett. Drake said Sinclair tried for a year and a half to turn the newscast around, but "no matter how we did any future projections, it was not going to become profitable."

Despite the displacement, the newsroom functioned as it normally did last week, a station insider said, and many among the news staff went around the clock on election day. "We're professionals," the station source said. Because of the size of the market, the station source said, no one expects to stay in Tallahassee. "Everybody's looking to leave town."