Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"My Network TV" Landing in Youngstown

UPDATE: The Business Journal reports the WYTV news conference has been cancelled, and will be rescheduled...

The "new network situation" is becoming clearer in the Youngstown market, where UPN/WB replacement The CW is already set. It looks like My Network TV will find a Mahoning Valley home as well.

The Youngstown-Warren Business Journal reports that Chelsey Broadcasting ABC affiliate WYTV/33 will announce a "second local channel" at a ribbon-cutting event tomorrow. (Thanks to an alert OMW tipster for passing this on!)

Though WYTV's news release does not officially detail the second outlet's programming, the Business Journal says it's expected to become the Youngstown market's affiliate for My Network TV, the FOX-owned mini-network developed after FOX's UPN O&O's got stiffed in the move to The CW. CW will air in Youngstown on current WB affiliate "WBCB", a digital/cable/satellite channel run by NBC affiliate WFMJ/21.

The Wednesday event is a launch for the construction of new downtown Youngstown studios for WYTV, which is going to move to a new facility to be built on East Federal Street. Historically, only WFMJ (owned by the Youngstown Vindicator) has broadcast from downtown Youngstown, with both WYTV and Piedmont CBS affiliate WKBN/27 - and now FOX affiliate WYFX/62 - staked out far from downtown. WYTV's longtime home is on Shady Run Road, south of downtown off I-680 and Midlothian Blvd.

WYTV is also expanding its early evening local news block, which will run a full 90 minutes from 5 PM to 6:30 PM starting on June 12th.

The move to add a second channel and My Network TV accomplishes two things - it means all three outlets of the original "Big Three" networks will have secondary channels with other networks...with WFMJ/21 hosting WB affiliate "WBCB" on its digital channel, and on cable and satellite, and WKBN/27 running "FOX 17/62" on a pair of LPTVers, on cable and soon-to-be satellite, and now on its own digital subchannel. It also means Youngstown will now get all the over-air networks locally.

The Business Journal article does not say how WYTV intends to deliver the second channel, but we'll assume it'll mirror WBCB (and now WYFX) with a digital subchannel and at least cable carriage.

Even if WYTV had not picked up My Network TV for a second channel, most Youngstown market cable viewers would have had no problem watching it anyway. Youngstown never had a UPN affiliate, even as a digital subchannel...and Cleveland's future My Network TV affiliate - WUAB/43 - has long filled that role on cable in the market.

What we'll have to see is if WYTV forces its hand with local cable outlets in the Youngstown market, and uses its new My Network TV channel to take over WUAB's channel slot...


Anonymous said...

It is not that strange that WYTV is going back to FOX for another network since the first time it was just for football and primetime showing of cops,melrose place, and the x-files. But I wonder what will the daytime line up be> I can see it now, M*A*S*H, differnt world, roseanne,and other sitcoms/drams that aired in the market before. Unless they add RTN (retro Television Network) to the day time the line up will probally just be WFMJ,WKBN,WYFX, AND WBCB'S TRASH in addition to preachers in the morgings, DIC carttons in the daytime and a rebroadcast of daybreak 33.It is assumed that the new staion will be carring reruns of "The Simpsons" since after this week it is no longer on the WYFX sechdule as is sebrina the teenage witch. But will WYTV air a ten o'clock news as well? It is stange that Andrea Wood's business journal actually broke the story. It is strange because she at one time in the 80's was a anchor at WYTV yet the business journal business digests air on WKBN/WYFX.. The city's newest building is being built by someone you would never expect go figue. I do wonder what WYFX is thinking now that they will have another station to compete with. Between WBCB and the new WYTV station, they have cleaned out every enjoyable daytime show and has made FOX 17/62(soon to be 35) a boing useless station with the exception of Indians baseball. BTW if WYTV does knock of WUAB off cable, what happens to the few cavs games WUAB airs, does that mean we will seen them on Youngstown's my network TV or not at all.

Anonymous said...

WYTV forced Armstrong Cable to "blue out" many syndicated shows during the daytime that would also air on WUAB or WBNX (when it was carried, before WBCB bumped them).
So, it wouldn't surprise me at all if that happened again.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about when WKBN blacked out (Syndex) Star Trek: The Next Generation in the mid 90's. In addition to having upset viewers they got all the local trek fans to stand out in front of WKBN to protest. It made both WKBN and WUAB's newscasts.

Anonymous said...

WYTV News Conference Cancelled, to Be Rescheduled : http://www.business-journal.com/WYTVNewsConferenceCancelled.asp I guess hot weather and big news don't mix. We shall find out soon what ALL of the big hype is. If you read both stories, you can notice that it talks about expanding their news operation, I guessing that means more than just a news at 5:30 pm. It is still a shock that a business is going to build a digital (I assume)TV studio in downtown Youngstown. Looks like WYTV got some form of grant/.loan from the state to build the studio.