Wednesday, October 12, 2005

FOX (News Channel) 8 In The Future?

Here's a small item called to our attention by our media blogging colleagues at this Variety story about the appointment of former CBS local owned-and-operated stations head Dennis Swanson to a post as operations chief for Fox's local owned-and-operated TV stations.

And here's the part which jumped out at us:


Swanson will focus on local news for the stations group, including Fox's characteristic morning shows, which take on NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America" in local markets and Fox's 10 p.m. news.

That could mean standardizing the look and feel of Fox newscasts, and sharing of talent between local stations and Fox News Channel.


In other items about this, it's being speculated that the local Fox O&O's, as the owned-and-operated stations are called, will take on much of the look, feel and even some of the programming ideas from the parent company's Fox News Channel. The first such move comes soon, with the premiere of a new daytime show by FNC reporter and weekend host Geraldo Rivera coming soon on the Fox O&O's.

And of course, since this is Ohio Media Watch, we remind you that the Fox people own and operate WJW/8 in our very own backyard.

"Fox 8 News" has been a bit odd as a news show on a Fox station goes. The inheriting of the old CBS affiliate news operation means that the station has many familiar veteran anchors, including Tim Taylor and Wilma Smith, along with Dick Goddard...who's been doing weather in the Cleveland TV market since before OMW's primary editorial voice was even born.

So, it'll be interesting to watch how Swanson's appointment affects our local Fox-owned station - a station that former WJW news director Virgil Dominic once sniffed "would never become 'Fox 8'" after the sale to New World Communications was announced in the mid-90's. New World, of course, was itself swallowed by Fox shortly thereafter.

But if you start hearing phrases like "fair and balanced" and "we report, you decide" on Channel 8...don't say you weren't given a heads up by us...

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