Station Break - Broadcasting & Cable

Station Break

Author:
Publish date:

Send story ideas and suggestions to stationbreak@mindspring.com or fax 775-640-0783.

DuBois Switches Seats

The talent makeover at WCBS New York continues with the arrival of Maurice DuBois on Sept. 8. DuBois will co-anchor at noon with Cindy Hsu and at 6 p.m. with Dana Tyler. He spent the past seven years as anchor of WNBC's Today in New York.

"He's a great journalist, smart and personable. We're proud to welcome him," says WCBS News Director Diane Doctor, who once worked with DuBois at WNBC.

The move is the latest shake-up at resurgent WCBS. In recent months, the station has lured popular anchor Roz Abrams from WABC and released legendary sports anchor Warner Wolf. Odd man out this time appears to be current noon and 6 p.m. anchor Michael Pomeranz, who Doctor says will remain at the station in an as yet undefined role.

Top 10 News

New York—In recent weeks, at least four stations in top-10 markets have made significant news-management changes. Gannett flagship WUSA Washington last week bounced News Director Dave Roberts, whose tenure was marked by an ignominious fifth-place finish for both 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. newscasts in May.

Post-Newsweek's WDIV Detroit has brought Neil Goldstein back to Motor City. A former news director at Fox-owned WJBK Detroit, he most recently ran the news shop at Fox's New York duopoly, WNYW/WWOR, before abruptly resigning earlier this year.

Fox O&O WTXF Philadelphia promoted Assistant News Director Holly Gauntt to the top job, succeeding Scott Matthews, who left to replace Goldstein at WNYW.

Micah Johnson took the helm at Meredith's troubled WGCL Atlanta. The CBS affiliate has switched anchor teams and news directors half a dozen times over the past couple of years trying to gain traction. Johnson will continue to oversee the newsroom at co-owned WHNS Greenville, S.C.

Greece Is the Word in Terre Haute

Dallas—Several stations owned by Nexstar Broadcast Group are offering viewers a pre-Olympics inside look at the life and culture of Greece. Marianthi Bumbaris, a Greek-speaking reporter at WTWO Terre Haute, Ind., brought the idea to her bosses, who approved the $10,000 project. She and cameraman Mike Butler from KARK Little Rock, Ark., spent 12 days in Greece and turned around a 10-part series airing on Nexstar's eight NBC affiliates and two non-NBC stations. The stations may even turn a profit on it. Having chipped in about $1,000, each has sold the reports to local sponsors. "You think we would do something without trying to make money off of it?" asks Nexstar VP of News Susana Schuler.

Memphis Loves UPN

Memphis, Tenn.—UPN shows do better in Elvis' hometown than just about anywhere else in the country. WLMT, owned by Clear Channel, averaged a 6 household rating in May. By contrast, Nielsen Media Research says, 75 of the 120 UPN affiliates averaged less than a 2 rating.

UPN programs are targeted toward an African-American audience, and blacks make up about 40% of TV households in Memphis, Nielsen market No. 43. Research firm BIA reports that WLMT was the fourth-highest-billing station in the market last year.

They Come...

Macon, Ga.—NBC affiliate WMGT gets back into the news business on Labor Day. The Morris Newspaper Corp.-owned station plans to launch half-hour local-news shows at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 and 11 p.m. General Manager George Jobin says market No. 122 is big enough to support three news stations. WMAZ, the CBS affiliate owned by Gannett, and WGXA, a Fox affiliate owned by Piedmont Television Holdings, have established local-news operations.

...And They Go

Watertown, N.Y.—Barely two weeks after telling staff members that WWTI's nightly newscasts would continue, General Manager David Males pulled the plug. Citing "economic considerations," the station eliminated its 6 and 11 p.m. broadcasts and shed most of its staff at the end of last month.

The ABC affiliate will retain a handful of employees to deliver news and weather capsules throughout the day and post updates on the station's Web site. WWTI is owned by Clear Channel. Watertown is market No. 177.

Related