Only days before its announced sale by USA to Univision but after ratings that continued to disappoint at the end of two years, WAMI(TV) Miami will discontinue its newscast after this Friday. The Times
was an ambitious news-with-attitude project from Barry Diller's company but managed a regular viewing audience of only about 10,000 in the large Miami-Fort Lauderdale market.
The station tried various changes to attract an audience, including time-switches and twice-nightly runs. The decision to drop the newscast-the company's only one-puts 27 full-time staffers out of work. The staff had been a bit larger, but some staffers left in anticipation of the newscast's being dropped.
News Director David Silverstein said he and his staff had a great run and "I've loved every minute of it. We had two of the biggest stories in the country down here [Elián Gonzáles and the Florida-centered election controversies], and we had a field day with them. We had a talented and dedicated group here. This has been the best experience I've ever had" in TV news."