WOLO-TV is the "Eyewitness News" station in Columbia, S.C., but in October, that
witness may have an unusual vantage point in another state.
Staffers at the ratings-challenged Bahakel Communications Group station confirmed
that they'd been told by management that the company was adopting a
"centralcast" from its WCCB(TV) Charlotte, N.C., station.
Insiders told Broadcasting & Cable they believed it would be the
end for many of the approximately 70 Columbia-based staffers' jobs and that
about 30 newsroom personnel -- including producers, on-air talent and
technicians -- had already been given notice.
Columbia newspaper The State reported that the cost-saving move was
intended to avoid costs of digitalization by using the already-converted
co-owned facility less than 100 miles away.
While local reports were unclear as to how many newsroom employees would
remain in Columbia, staffers predicted that the station would maintain a small news
staff, which will send reports to the Charlotte station, for a newscast produced
there and sent back over fiber-optic lines.
Bahakel's independent television station, WKFT in Fayetteville, N.C., ended its
locally produced news briefs earlier this year.