Mission Broadcasting's WYOU Wilkes-Barre is replacing local news with syndicated shows such as Judge Joe Brown, Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight. Nexstar's WBRE had produced news at WYOU, and says it will save around $900,000 a year by doing away with the local product.
A CBS affiliate, WYOU's current newscasts include programs at 4, 6, 7 and 11 p.m. The schedule change takes place tomorrow.
Fourteen full-time employees lose their jobs today.
"The viewers have spoken, letting us know that WYOU is the station they rely on for entertainment and we are confident the station's already solid line up will be bolstered with the addition of entertainment and news magazine programming," said Mission Broadcasting EVP/COO Dennis Thatcher, "including Judge Joe Brown, Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight which will replace the station's news programming."
Local TV's WNEP grabs about half the revenue share in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. As the profit margins at TV stations continue to shrink, many believe that a large number of stations in runner-up positions will scrap costly news outfits in the coming months.