(UPDATED 6/14/06 with new information from the Tribune-Chronicle and Business Journal)
Youngstown ABC affiliate WYTV/33 has officially unveiled its much-discussed future plans, which include a new My Network TV-affiliated secondary channel - to be called "myYTV" - to debut in September. And as expected, WYTV will also mount a 10 PM newscast on the new channel, going up against the only current 10 PM newscast in the market, WYFX/62 "FOX 17/62"'s "First News at 10".
The station is also building a new satellite news studio in downtown Youngstown. The new studio is part of what is at least the second attempt to renovate the Realty Building, on the square at Federal Plaza. It'll be on the first floor of that basically abandoned building, which is scheduled to be revamped into a condominium and apartment building.
Though the condo/apartment project will take a while, WYTV hopes to have the downtown studio up and running by early September, roughly in concert with the "myYTV" debut. The station will continue to operate from its South Side location on Shady Run Road.
UPDATE: 11:42 AM 6/14/06: It appears that the downtown studio will be used as a "downtown bureau" location by WYTV - like the existing Trumbull County bureau in the Warren Tribune-Chronicle facility.
WYTV general manager Dave Trabert tells the Tribune-Chronicle: "It will be similar to what is being done in Warren, where we have a reporter broadcasting stories from a satellite studio."
Today's story in the Youngstown-Warren Business Journal has more of the same: "There WYTV reporters can edit and broadcast live stories involving City Hall and the Mahoning County Courthouse." If there's a Youngstown Vindicator story on this, we can't find it at the paper's Vindy.com website.
More of the station's planned content is known as well. In addition to the 10 PM newscast, "myYTV" will also rebroadcast WYTV's morning news block after the ABC affiliate goes to "Good Morning America", much like WFMJ's WB network sister station WBCB does with the early morning news from channel 21. In addition to the My Network TV fare, syndicated programs will include "Martha Stewart", "The Nanny", and "various game shows".
And by the way, this isn't the first time a Youngstown media outlet has announced a plan to use the very same building. In 1991, the owner of then-country/rock formatted WAXF/95.9 "WAX FM" and sister oldies WRQQ/1470 "The Rock" announced a move of his station from "a dumpy little building above a stationery store" in Hermitage PA to the top floor of the Realty Building in downtown Youngstown.
The station managed to set up sales offices there, but the grandiose studio plans were never completed. Or, for that matter, ever started. WAXF/WRQQ owner Mercury Broadcasting ran out of money, and the stations shut down in November 1991...leaving a trail of bills - and unpaid employee paychecks - behind.
We'll presume that WYTV and owner Chelsey Broadcasting will not face the same fate...