WWJ to drop local news

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CBS' Detroit O&O WWJ-TV will drop its local newscasts and news department
at the end of this month.

Viacom Inc. duopoly partner and UPN affiliate WKBD-TV will continue a
newscast, but it will be produced by Scripps WXYZ-TV.

The moves likely mean job loss for most of the 70 people currently employed
at the Viacom newsroom, with some likely absorbed by WXYZ-TV.

"The competitive news landscape of the Detroit market is unique in that it
presents us the kind of challenges we do not face in other markets," said Fred
Reynolds, president, Viacom Television Stations Group, in a statement announcing
the deal with Scripps.

For years the UHF station was the only CBS-owned station without news, and
WKBD-TV was about the last full news department in the Paramount station group.

WWJ added news when the groups merged to form Viacom's Detroit duopoly. But
the newscast was not competitive with local news powerhouses Post-Newsweek's
WDIV(TV) and Viacom's new local partner WXYZ-TV.

The newscast produced for WKBD-TV, UPN Detroit Action News --replacing UPN
Nightside -- will run at 10 p.m., and will not compete with WXYZ-TV's own
newscast.

WWJ-TV's news will be replaced by syndicated runs of Everybody Loves
Raymond.

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