Thursday, March 08, 2007

Escape From Youngstown TV

Just days after WYTV/33 news director Pat Livingston announced his move to Toledo's WNWO/24 - in the wake of pending changes at the Youngstown ABC affiliate that could decimate that station's newsroom - two other bombshells have dropped.

If CBS affiliate WKBN-TV/27 begins producting news content for WYTV in that FCC-tipped "shared services agreement" filed by new WYTV owner Parkin Broadcasting, you won't be seeing "27 First News" mainstays Robb Schmidt and Sarah Eisler on 33.

You won't even see them on WKBN or sister FOX outlet WYFX, either, because the anchors are both on their way out the door, period.

The Youngstown Business Journal's Andrea Wood reports that Schmidt announced his resignation late Wednesday, and will anchor his final newscasts on April 6th. Eisler put in her own resignation earlier, and will leave the "First News" main anchor team on March 30th.

One almost pictures the two anchors running out the door with their hair on fire.

We're talking two unusual operators here, after all.

New Vision Television, the new owners of WKBN-TV and sister FOX outlet WYFX "FOX 17/62", has owned stations in other markets, and our impression is that they didn't exactly spend money. And Parkin will not likely be running its own newsroom when it takes over WYTV.

If you're expecting a large newsroom with "the best of WKBN and WYTV" when all this is done, you're probably an optimist.

Careful...if you walk by either WKBN/WYFX or WYTV, you're likely to be hit by dozens of flying resumes and videotapes...


Anonymous said...

Based on the new events, could it be WYTV the one who will be producing the news for WKBN/WYFX? Unless they go out and spend money, WYTV has people who could fill the job and based on the track record of gocom and new vision in how they hire younger on-air talent because they are cheaper, it could be WKBN/WYFX that will get the ax not WYTV/MY-YTV.

Anonymous said...

you guys are so lost.....OMW you are over reacting to this......

sara has made no secret that she wants to spend more time with her kids...

Rob is a sports guy through and through and this fits him like a glove....

OMW and others....quit putting drama whhere there is simply a coincidence of timing.....


Anonymous said...

Don't shoot the messenger. (OMW)

The timing of three key people leaving their respective stations IS a little more than suspect.

If the New Vision - Parkin deal hadn't happened, I wonder if 'KBN's anchor team and 'YTV's ND would have bolted so quickly.

To an "industry outsider" these moves certainly appear more than co-incidental.

Anonymous said...

So who was the new weather guy on WKBN Sunday?

Anonymous said...

the new weather guy is a fill in...
when wetzel and guthrie are off he did nikki weirich on one or two of the weekend casts...

as i have written before....the ND at wytv is "going home"....back to work for the folks who were the operations people for the old BENEDEK group before they sold YTV to its soon to be..X OWNERS....

nothing fishy here......just change..which i know people hate...but that's what it is...

Anonymous said...

What will Schmidt do now? Will he still do anything with the YSU Football game of the week on Fox 17/62? Still curious why Schmidt is leaving...

Anonymous said...

Poster above who said WYTV may produce the news for WKBN has to be one of the WYTV suck ups doing the general managers bidding. There is no way a third rate news operation is going to dominate this deal. What? Move everyone into that rat trap on Shady Run? Yeah right.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, WKBN or other producing the news for another owned facility? Sounds kind of like WTAM supplying news to WGAR. What's been done in radio is also being done in TV.

Anonymous said...

Let's get real here.

This is the Youngstown TV market we are talking about here.

If Channel 3 starts supplying Channel 5 with their news, then it's worthwhile discussing.

Anonymous said...

True, but you have to understand that this one of the last few things Youngstown has left. Having three TV newsrooms is kind of big considering the crime,and the people leaving town by the thousands in addition to having no money to fund any services. Add to the fact Youngstown has a total living people count of 77,000 (that's smallar than Canton), and no new car dealerships saying we have a NBC,CBS, and ABC station producing their own news looks good and makes the town look a little better than what it really is.

Take away one independent voice what do you have left? It is better to have more voices to cover who got shot over a drug deal gone bad as compaired to just having one voice telling the story.

Without that extra voice you will have the vindi/WFMJ/WBCB, and the WKBN/WYFX/WYTV/MY-YTV who also produces news for the clear channel stations in town telling the stories and helping in slanting the local coverage of events since the two newsrooms will be the only "real" voice in town.

Saying the buckeye review,business journal, or even the Warren Tribune are additional voices is only half right since they really cover portions of the area or segments within the area and WFMJ,WKBN,and WYTV cover the whole area and attempt to cover all of the various segments.

With Delphi in the process of shutting down, GM looking for a way to skip town, and fourm health about to close down northside hospital, layoffs in the local TV stations just adds a little more dirt on the grave which in the end will cause this maffia,crime ridden cesspool to just dry up and go away.

Anonymous said...

In Cleveland, Channels 19 and 43 have the same newsroom.

In Columbus, Channels 6 and 28 share the same news team.

In Cincinnati, Channel 12 produces a newscast for Channel 64.

In Pittsburgh, Channels 2 and 19 have the same news staff, and Channel 11 produces a newscast for Channel 53.

It is happening all around Y-Town, so why is everyone in Y-Town freaking out over this?

It has been this way for years.

Anonymous said...

In each one of those examples their is at least 3 different stations with a newsrooom. If this happens, you will have 2 seperate newsrooms and if you count the vindicator you will have 2 major seperate voices for the area.
Fewer voices means fewer choices and with one dominant player in local news, means the people around here will get only what the stations will want them to hear. With WYTV, they at least tried to ask questions that WFMJ and WKBN/WYFX would or did not want to ask. Just look at 21 and 27/62's final product to see my point.

Number of TV newsrooms:

In Clkeveland: 3=NBC
68=IND (Mansfield)

Pittsburgh: 2/19=CBS/CW

Erie: 12/35=NBC/CBS

Columbus: 10/53=CBS/CW

Dayton: 2=NBC

Cincinnati: 5=NBC
After SSA goes into effect



3.)WNCD/WMXY/WBBG/WKBN-AM/WNIO does some news but has partnership with WKBN-TV/WYFX to get news/weather.

4.)WHOT/WYFM/WWIZ/WQXK/WLLF/WPIC/WBBW no local news gets news/weather from ether WFMJ or WYTV

5.)WRBP/WASN/WGFT No local news

WWGY,WKST-AM,WJST-AM,and WKPL does little coverage of Youngstown and they are unoffically not rated as a Youngstown stations anymore.

Business journal covers business news, Warren paper covers Trumbull county,Sharon paper covers Mercer county. Lisbon/Salem paper covers Columbiana County, and the buckeye review is geared towards the urban population in the city.

Anonymous said...

WYTV asked questions others would not? Yeah, right. Like how do you want that worded Mr. Chamber of Commerce?

Anonymous said...

considering the economy in youngstown ...the area is lucky they have as many news rooms as they do....
the wkbn radio/wkbn tv sharing benefits everybody..more stories covered.
IF wkbn/wytv merge newsrooms did anybody think it would be could!!!!!
instead of having two reporters covering the same story..two reporters could cover two stories..

more sports could get covered. instead of two sports crews at YSU....more high school sports could get covered on a YSU game night...and the list goes on...

instead of the b****ing that goes on...have a broadr g*d d**n view...

change is not a communist is the current flow of the business..


(industry insider)

Anonymous said...

Robb Schmidt is the new Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing and Promotions at YSU

Ohio Media Watch said...

OK, some thoughts.

Maybe we did jump a little into the drama here.

Maybe Robb, Sara and Pat are truly leaving for "better things". We don't doubt it at all.

But we still don't believe it's all a bed of roses.

We're pretty sure that rumors about the pending changes at both WKBN/WYFX and WYTV have been circling for at least a while longer than announced.

And for that matter, even if that's not the case, current ownership at both operations could well have been signaling the changes by changes in their own operation of the stations. (Don't believe us? Ask folks working for Clear Channel stations about to be sold...or just about any station about to be sold to "money people", really.)

So, while Robb Schmidt may well have ended up getting his "dream job", and Sara Eisler may well be spending more time with her kids - we have no reason to doubt either - they are not insulated from reality, be it the continuing economics of operating small market TV stations, pending sales or other factors.

'Nuff said on that, at least on our part.

As far as the composition of the combined newsroom of 27/FOX17-62/33, our gut tells us that the more popular "27 First News" brand and most of the people move forward, whoever does the presumably much more advanced operation at WKBN/WYFX.

If the 33 folks are willing to work cheap, and fit under the numbers, some may well stay.

Probably the best indication will be what happens with Stan Boney, one of the only real "names" in the market, who happens to be employed by WYTV.

If NVT keeps him aboard for the combined newsroom - and we're guessing NVT does the heavy lifting here, as it has local TV news history and Parkin didn't even exist until a few months ago, it may say something.

But in the whole, the new combined operation, whether it be based at WKBN or WYFX (again, we guess the former), will be ruled by economics, and as noted here by us and others, the Youngstown market's economics pretty much stink.

-The Management

Anonymous said...

Good points OMW. Since Radio 570 and FM 98.9 moved out of TV 27's Sunset
Blvd. digs years ago, there is plenty of room for the folks at Shady Run Road to move west down Midlothian Boulevard. There are indications locally that it is already a done deal.

Anonymous said...

"With Delphi in the process of shutting down, GM looking for a way to skip town, and fourm health about to close down northside hospital, layoffs in the local TV stations just adds a little more dirt on the grave which in the end will cause this maffia,crime ridden cesspool to just dry up and go away."

-If you truly believe all this is going to happen, why are you still here? I don't believe Delphi and
GM are going to leave, because if they were they would have done it by now. I've been living in the Youngstown area for close to 20 years, and the number one problem I can see that holds the area down is its negative attitude. I'm assuming you live here. If you do, why not make the best of what you have? I know it sounds cliche, but a positive attitude goes a long way. If you think the area is "just going to dry up and go away", why stay here?

Anonymous said...

For Delphi and GM to leave it takes time. Lordstown bit the bullet twice in the last 10 years and like Buick city in Flint, Terrytown NY, and Oklahoma City it is only a matter of time.

GM makes no money on the G5 or the Cobalt and with the consumer tastes going away from the Hummers and Silverados due to rising fuel prices, what will Loardstown make? GM wants to outsourse the small car even more than they have with the Daweoo built Chevy Aveo. Keep in mind a new GM gets a $1700.00 legacy charge on every new model they sell and that hurts the bottom line. Besides if the rumor is true about GM mergering with Chrysler,you can be assured that Lordstown will suffer due to access capactivy.

As for Delphi, they just cannot compete when they are paying high wages when everyone else can offer the same product at a lower price. The future of Delphi in part depends on the contracts they are able to keep. Sure right know they have Volkswagen, Kia, Ford, and Chrysler among others but if Chrysler or Fords falls or Kia can get a better deal elsewhere, the Warren plants are in for some serious issues.

The fact is both GM and Delphi have been looking for a way out. Over the past 10 plus years look at how the then packard electric shut down plants in the valley and began it coporate downsizing even before the spin off from GM.

As for GM, they too have slowly began to creep out of the area. First it was the shutting down the van plant, then year after year not hiring as many replacements for the retired workers, and so on.

I am still here because I get the opportunity to have a good job in Cleveland and are able to commute back to the Mahoning valley where the cost of living is lower so this is why I am here.

You are correct when you say "and the number one problem I can see that holds the area down is its negative attitude". The fact that this community as a whole has never changed their attiude or perspective on what it takes to get the job done. Just whine,whine,whine and expect everyone else to clean up their mess. This is sad because I was born and raised here.

When someone asks where I am from I am ashamed to say I come from Youngstown in part because my fellow neighbors just don't give a damn about this community rotting away and yet they choose to do nothing about it because they think that change is bad.

If look around you will see nobody wants change or progress they just want it like it used to be. From the jobs in the mill and the mob run mayor's office they think it is so great and perfect but in reality it really was not so great and perfect and many believe one day the valley will rise from the grave and be mighty and great but in reality Youngstown is on a one way ticket to hell.

There is only so much one can do but when you are doing all you can do yet it gets whiped out as a result of 5 negative things that occured, it gets to the point where you just don't care. A postive attitude does goes a long way but when you are in the minority does it really matter and if so how much difference will it make in the first place?

I have watched this community go on its down hill slide from the very start and I know of all the broken promises that were made, the con artists that came to town to make a fast buck and all the while mayors,trustees, and county commissioners thought all they needed to do was just sit there and evey major company will come.

But what they failed to get was their attitude and ignorance is what caused their down fall.

I am sorry for going off topic but I just wanted to clafiry what I had meant in my 3:40 PM post. I hope I did not upset anyone.

Ohio Media Watch said...

New comments for this post have been closed, per our new comment policy.

--The Management