Tuesday, March 20, 2007

WKBN To Produce WYTV News - The Details

More details are coming out about that planned "shared services agreement" between two Youngstown TV stations, CBS/FOX combo WKBN/27-"FOX 17/62", and ABC affiliate WYTV/33.

And according to FCC filings uncovered by the Youngstown Business Journal's Andrea Wood, it's exactly what observers thought would happen.

Wood uncovers the agreement between New Vision Television, the owners which have taken over WKBN/WYFX, and Parkin Television, which is in the process of buying WYTV.

To quote the Business Journal article:

The soon-to-be new owner of WYTV has agreed to pay the new owner of WKBN-TV $750,000 annually for producing Channel 33’s newscasts and supplying engineering, technical and back-office services – essentially every function that WYTV employees perform except the duties of senior managers and sales account executives.

Wood reports that the arrangement "hit like a dull thud" at WYTV's Shady Run Road headquarters, where management told employees of the filing late Monday.

Whatever "wiggle room" there is in the agreement that would provide any jobs for WYTV employees...is hard to find.

The agreement notes that WKBN will basically provide fully-formed newscasts for WYTV that "will have an on-air appearance" as if WYTV originated them, and notes that WYTV non-management news employees would be made available to WKBN/WYFX.

Our guess: This is the part of the agreement where the new combined news operation would be able to use popular on-air "33 News" employees in the WKBN-produced newscasts - a la WYTV's Stan Boney and the like. Whether this is the case, and if it fits into their contracts with WYTV, we don't know. As we said, it's just a guess based on the wording.

But another phrase in the filing covers the allowance of "non-exclusive" news content on WYTV, which is the key to the station airing WKBN/WYFX-produced news reports.

The agreement follows the form of many others before it, including two in nearby Erie PA, which has four stations using two newsrooms...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last week at Mahoning county's skywarn training, WKBN/WYFX, and WYTV was there. There was no WFMJ/WBCB (they usually come)but WKBN did a report, WYTV did a live report at 5 & 6 PM, and Jim Loboy brought out the weather trailblazer and was passing out business cards. How will the weather area work sine 33 has skymax dopplar and better equipment.

Anonymous said...

And so, once again, the number of journalistic voices is reduced, the amount of competition is reduced and the number of jobs is reduced.

But a few wealthy people stand to make a bit more money with a bit less effort.

And the public is asked to believe otherwise, since there will be a completely different "look" on each station's newscast.

Anonymous said...

Why can't this deal also involve sharing non network programming? WKBN/WYFX set on all of the programs that are worth anything yet they run them in late nite time slots or once a day. WYTV/MY-YTV has some of the dullest non network programming in town. But instead we have to set though old reruns, Dr.Kieth Ablow and Greg Barndalt everyday. Hell it would be one thing if they were to start a seperate independent retro channel where the classic could air and have MY-YTV air some programs that were made after 1990.

Anonymous said...

I WORK AT YTV AND HEARD NO "DULL THUD" NOR DID I SEE ANDREA WOOD STANDING IN OUR STUDIO AT THIS SO CALLED "CONSOLIDATION OF SERVICES MEETING".IF SHE THINKS KBN CAN PRODUCE TWO NEWSCASTS AT BOTH SIX AND ELEVEN SIMUTANEOUSLY AS YTV,MAYBE SHE SHOULD APPLY FOR NEWS DIRECTOR.OF COURSE SHE COULDN'T MAKE IT AS AN ANCHOR AT YTV,BUT SHE IS SOMEHOW AN EXPERT AT READING FCC APPLICATIONS.

Ohio Media Watch said...

We've actually put some thought into the "how WKBN/WYFX can produce two newscasts" idea, and have some possible solutions.

These are all just "how they could do it" guesses on our part, and aren't based on anything we've heard, either directly or indirectly:

1) The new combined newsroom doesn't produce newscasts at the same time on two stations.

If that's the case, that means WYTV doesn't do an 11 PM show, and their early news would air off-pattern from WKBN's news. (Say, they'd be on the air on 33 during 27's airing of the CBS Evening News.)

That would mean they would only have to change the fonts and graphics for WYTV.

2) WYTV does an 11 PM show produced by WKBN, but it's recorded. Bad, bad, bad. And difficult, due to the presence of "27 First News on FOX 17/62" at 10. But it's done in other markets.

3) WKBN uses a separate studio to produce "33 News", and uses separate anchor(s) on 33. This would make the most sense, and would allow them to air an 11 PM show on both stations. The WKBN-produced reports air on all stations (27/33/17-62). This is also done in several markets.

To our last ALL UPPER CASE commenter: You're in denial, my friend. Read the application yourself...it's linked on the original post in PDF form, and not filtered by Ms. Wood.

There WILL be a combined WKBN/WYFX/WYTV newsroom, controlled by the 27 folks.

Does that mean everyone at Shady Run Road is out of work? No, but probably the large majority of them...you don't pay $750K a year for newscast production and pay a full newsroom staff in house, too.

--The Management

Anonymous said...

Andrea Wood couldn't make it as an anchor at WYTV? Get real. She left that rat trap and started her own newspaper. Anyone who knows anything about the news media in Youngstown knows that she is the very best at what she does.
The above post no doubt came from some jealous folks at YTV who need to stop posting and start looking for a job!!!!

Ohio Media Watch said...

We just want to reiterate the usual position/policy here, regarding news of this nature.

OMW is never, never in favor of massive job loss or consolidation.

We got into the media business "back in the day", where there was no "combined newsroom" in local TV.

We do not revel in others' misfortune. If we had our way, all three major Youngstown TV operations would continue to be separate. (The FOX 17/62 thing is different, as that was a new startup by WKBN that did not previously exist in any form.)

We are in favor of independent voices, and full employment.

Unfortunately, despite the one commenter's aiming at Ms. Wood, the reality is rather apparent here. WYTV will not continue as a full-fledged, separate news operation. It's all there in black and white, and in the FCC filing. WKBN will produce WYTV's newscasts.

Now, in at least one of our scenarios, we could see some WYTV on-air newsies make the transition, at very least to A) handle the separate broadcasts airing at the same time as WKBN's newscasts or B) being absorbed into WKBN to take advantage of their popularity (Mr. Boney, etc.).

But in no scenario does the Shady Run Road newsroom go without cutbacks, probably major.

We're not celebrating over that. But a wise person will not be in denial, and will pursue other opportunities. It's one thing if it's a rumor...it's quite another spelled out in detail in an FCC application which anyone - not just Andrea Wood - can read.

And please, don't take pot shots at other commenters, either directly or indirectly.

--The Management

Anonymous said...

If WKBN produced newscasts for WYTV on off times, I don't think 6:30 PM would be one. Since ABC has a news at 6:30, I don't think that could be in the cards.

They could produce a news program for example at 6:30 on My-YTV, produce a news at 7 AM on either MY-YTV or WYTV (pushing Good Morining America to MY-YTV), but that would be difficult to do.

WKBN/WYFX Newstimes:

5:00-7:00 Firstnews this morining
7:00-9:00 (rebroadcast of above on WYFX)
Noon (both on WKBN/WYFX)
5:00 WKBN
6:00 WKBN
10:00 WYFX
11:00 WKBN

WYTV/MY-YTV newscasts:

5:00-7:00 WYTV
7:00-9:00 (rebroadcast of above on MY-YTV)
3:00-5:00 For the People on MY-YTV
5:00 WYTV
5:30 WYTV
6:00 WYTV
7:00 (rebroadcast of above on MY-YTV)
10:00 MY-YTV
10:30 sports talk My-YTV
11:00 WYTV
2:00 AM repeat of 10 PM news on MY-YTV
2:30 AM repeat of sports talk on MY-YTV
3:00 AM repeat of 11:00 news on WYTV

Anonymous said...

If WKBN produced newscasts for WYTV on off times, I don't think 6:30 PM would be one. Since ABC has a news at 6:30, I don't think that could be in the cards.

They could produce a news program for example at 6:30 on My-YTV, produce a news at 7 AM on either MY-YTV or WYTV (pushing Good Morining America to MY-YTV), but that would be difficult to do.

WKBN/WYFX Newstimes:

5:00-7:00 Firstnews this morining
7:00-9:00 (rebroadcast of above on WYFX)
Noon (both on WKBN/WYFX)
5:00 WKBN
6:00 WKBN
10:00 WYFX
11:00 WKBN

WYTV/MY-YTV newscasts:

5:00-7:00 WYTV
7:00-9:00 (rebroadcast of above on MY-YTV)
3:00-5:00 For the People on MY-YTV
5:00 WYTV
5:30 WYTV
6:00 WYTV
7:00 (rebroadcast of above on MY-YTV)
10:00 MY-YTV
10:30 sports talk My-YTV
11:00 WYTV
2:00 AM repeat of 10 PM news on MY-YTV
2:30 AM repeat of sports talk on MY-YTV
3:00 AM repeat of 11:00 news on WYTV

Anonymous said...

I worked at WOIO / WUAB during the time that WOIO ran a full morning news program, plus 'casts and noon, six and eleven, while WUAB ran news at 11:30AM and 10:PM.

In a nutshell:

1. One newsroom can serve two stations;

2. Efficiencies will be found if that is what "management" wants;

3. It's entirely possible that the top management won't care about one of the stations and won't mind if it suffers as long as the favored station thrives and has less competition;

4. Modern broadcast companies don't care much about quality.

I wouldn't spend much time speculating on how they'll do it, but I would expect that they will consolidate the operations considerably, ending jobs for a lot of good people.

I join OMW in grieving for the lost jobs, and wish only the very best for those displaced by the consolidation.

Former WKBNer said...

It is so very sad to see another TV market taking a hit, jobs lost and the viewers losing as well.
I am most sympathetic to the staffers at both stations. But I am also glad that I was able to work in Youngstown at WKBN "in the day", when the stations were the top, owned by the Williamsons. WFMJ was a tough competitor and WYTV was coming into its own thanks to the ABC lineup of the mid-70's. I worked with the legends at KBN, most of whom are gone now except for Don Guthrie, but I learned how to be a good broadcaster from some of the best. Of course, that and $2.50 will get me a cup of coffee today, but there will always be a place in my heart for Youngstown and its media outlets. It is a heartbreaking shame what has happened to local media over the last ten years. You'll never know how much fun it was.

Ohio Media Watch said...

One comment has been removed for legal reasons.

--The Management

Ohio Media Watch said...

This item is being closed for comments.

Here's a rule for you: If your comment is removed, and you want to know why, ask us privately. Do not repeat the very wording which caused it to be deleted.

For the record, the deleted comment was a side remark about the author of the original story, and her departure from the station in question.

We have no idea if what was posted was unsubstantiated rumor, or if it was publicized at the time and we just never saw it.

Unless we can get proof of this, we have to delete comments, and since we can't watch 24 hours a day, we have to close this item.

The deleted comment was not all that "bad", if it's true. But...unless you're willing to front the money for our legal bills, we'll delete it. We're over reacting, probably, but it's our blog.

And besides, the past job status of the person who wrote the article is really not "on topic" here. For one, as we've said many times, the facts of the case are evident in the FCC filing authored by...Parkin Broadcasting, the new (incoming) owner of WYTV.

Any further discussion of this topic must be done in private.

--The Management