The Topeka triopoly happily announced "a new era in local news coverage" in DMA No. 136, as NBC affiliate KSNT, Fox affiliate KTMJ and ABC outlet KTKA have joined up to form "Kansas First News" under President/General Manager Jean Turnbough.
Kansas First News will be located in the Highway 24 studios operated by KSNT and KTMJ. The news operation "will use one newsroom and the combined resources of NBC, ABC and Fox, providing more local news at more convenient times, on more platforms," said the stations on KTKA.com.
New Vision owns KSNT and KTMJ. PBC Broadcasting recently acquired KTKA from Free State Communications. Earlier this year, the American Cable Association filed a petition at the FCC to deny the sale, saying it could give the new owner too much control over retrans negotiations in the market.
It's not uncommon for two stations to operate a joint newsroom, but three stations working jointly is rare. In Honolulu, for one, Raycom's KHNL (NBC) and KGMB (CBS) and GMC's MyNetworkTV outlet KFVE operate under the same roof and Hawaii News Now rubric.
"People today need local news programs throughout the day, not just in the morning, the early evening, and at 9 or 10 p.m.," said News Director Nate Hill. "By combining resources, we will have more photographers and reporters in the field, along with three live mobile newsrooms, to provide the most comprehensive news, weather, and sports information in the market."
The first joint newscast aired July 30 at 6 p.m. on KSNT.
Gray's WIBW is the overwhelming revenue leader in Topeka, according to BIA/Kelsey, followed by KSNT.