Kudos to one of the most dogged reporters in the entire Youngstown market, Andrea Wood at the Business Journal, for uncovering THIS little gem.
As it turns out, the announced sale of Chelsey Broadcasting ABC affiliate WYTV/33 in the Valley to Parkin Broadcasting has more to it than meets the eye.
Wood and The Business Journal dug into FCC records for the proposed sale, and found this gem...we'll quote the last part of it, since the FCC's all-upper case style in the online database is hurting our eyes:
PARKIN BROADCASTING OF YOUNGSTOWN, LLC AND NVT YOUNGSTOWN ALSO MAY ENTER INTO A SHARED SERVICES AGREEMENT. THE PARTIES HAVE NOT YET NEGOTIATED THE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR AN SSA . HOWEVER, ANY SUCH SSA WILL COMPLY WITH COMMISSION RULES AND POLICIES FOR SUCH AGREEMENTS.
NVT Youngstown, as explained in the document, is the proposed licensee of Youngstown CBS affiliate WKBN/27 and FOX affiliate LPTV combo WYFX-LP/62-WFXI-CA/17 ("FOX 17/62"). It's better known to readers here as New Vision Television, the Atlanta-based company that announced it was buying WKBN and WYFX from Piedmont Television.
The "Shared Services Agreement", as Wood hints in the Business Journal, would likely involve a sole news operation between the two (three) stations. It is hard to imagine the scenario which would result in the WYTV newsroom surviving intact.
It's a story that's played out in many other markets similar to Youngstown, including nearby Erie PA, where multiple stations are operated by single companies. And the mere economics in a market like Youngstown, with a fast dwindling population, work against three entirely separate news operations.
Our favorite part of this "story behind the story"? Apparently, the folks at Parkin Television put out a press release announcing the purchase of WYTV...with the very same phone number put on the release announcing New Vision's purchase of WKBN/WYFX.
It'll be very interesting to watch how this plays out...but if we were on Shady Run Road, our tapes and resumes would be out before we could finish this sentence...