Wednesday, June 13, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: FOX Selling WJW

UPDATED 6/13/07 10:00 PM

This just in:

News Corporation, owner of TV's FOX network, has announced it is selling Cleveland O&O WJW/8 and eight other below-top-10 market stations.

"FOX 8" is the largest market station on the block. The Cleveland/Akron (Canton) market is still hanging in there as the nation's 17th ranked TV market, after once being in the top 10.

Denver, which has grown to be right under Cleveland in market size (18th) is next on the FOX For Sale Block, with long-time FOX O&O KDVR/31 being sold off.

The rest of the for-sale list has a chunk of FOX stations in medium Midwestern markets like St. Louis, Kansas City and Milwaukee, in Salt Lake City and in medium southern markets like Memphis and Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem NC.

There had been rumors kicking around that FOX was looking to sell off its smaller market stations, though we'd have to say WJW and the Denver station are surprises on the list.

Though Cleveland isn't exactly a growth market - one metric used in such deals - WJW has been an exceedingly strong and successful FOX O&O, and barely lost a step or two after the transition from CBS.

But here's your wildcard in this: FOX is especially concerned with keeping its duopolies...in markets where the network owns two stations. And Cleveland isn't on that list.

(We'll leave it to the readers, in our comments section, as to why FOX couldn't buy a second station in Cleveland, among possible targets like WBNX/55 and WOAC/67. We have our own answers, but we want to hear yours, first.)

FOX also, curiously, declined to sell single stations in such markets as Austin TX (market #52) and Ocala FL (market #162 with Gainesville).

Our guess is that Austin is considered close enough to the FOX O&O duopolies in Houston and Dallas, and ditto with Ocala and the FOX Orlando duopoly.

Other single stations are still in the FOX universe, but all in large markets like Boston, Philadelphia and Detroit. And Baltimore's WUTB/24 is not being sold, but that's a short drive from the company's Washington DC stations.

If you'd like to comb over the FOX O&O station list, the company has one on its website.

It would appear that one reason News Corporation is selling off the stations is to raise cash to help fund its multi-billion dollar bid for Dow Jones, as speculated in this Associated Press article we found on the Akron Beacon Journal's website this evening...

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you say CBS8?

Anonymous said...

wow... interesting...

ltr said...

First, no way will they sell to CBS or any other network.

Plus, station owners these days drool over FOX affiliations. With FOX, they only have to clear 2-3 hours a day (except sports). With the other networks, they have to give up 8-9. That costs them money in local ad sales.

The only advantage with CBS in Cleveland is the NFL and Browns games.

All in all, this sale sounds like Rupert is serious about buying Dow Jones. He's freeing up more cash.

Anonymous said...

true ltr... WJW does have good local morning show.. plus whoever buys the station they will get a nice HD stuff.. I wonder why they wanted to put in new set?

Anonymous said...

Same reason you fix up a house before you sell it - Max out the value - HD conversion, new set, etc. limits amount of additional cash aside from sale price and regular expenses a new owner would have to dump into it

Anonymous said...

Plus, the set upgrade will ensure that News Corp's foot print is left long after the station is sold.

Anonymous said...

Huh, maybe A&E is filming the WJW news set construction for "Flip this House!" (Just kidding...)

That being said, it's a surprise... but it probably isn't. After all, CBS, NBC Universal, Clear Channel, and the New York Times have either sold off smaller-market stations or exited the buisness completely. For CC and NYT, the latter was the case.

In NBC's case, many of their stations went to Media General including WCMH/4 Columbus- which, ironically enough, ALSO had a new studio and operations being built at the time of the sale.

FTSC never had the chance to establish a duopoly with WJW. Malrite beat them to the chance in June 1994 by LMA'ing WUAB, and which was eventually bought by Malrite, which merged with Raycom.

WBNX is very well an anomoly by being owned BY Ernest Angeley, and was a strong WB/CW affiliate. As MyTV never existed until last year, and with the defunct UPN essentially a CBS/Fox joint venture, it may have never been a priority for FTSC to buy another station. I doubt FTSC never would have even thought of buying WBNX, nor with WUAB (even though they should've, IMO...)

UPN/MyTV affil WUTB/24 Baltimore is TECHINICALLY a stand-alone, but operates within the Fox-WTTG/5-MyTV-WDCW/20 cluster in DC (the former simulcasts their 10PM news on WUTB). And as the Fox affil is on WBFF/45, a Sinclair-owned station, it may not be a priority for FTSC.

Now, onto the present...

Could Media General be a player for WJW? Or is Citadel interested - especially with the ABC Radio purchase?

I was thinking that Lin Television might be interested, as they had converting the websites for THEIR Fox affiliates - including WUPW/36 Toledo - into the "myFox" O&O template. But, as it turns out, they might sell off the company... which could turn even more interesting.

Note too, that WJW, KTVI, WDAF, WBRC, WHBQ and WGHP were high-profile VHF defections in the landmark 1994 New World Communications/FTSC affiliation deal, which helped catapult Fox into a major network.

You just hope it isn't another Gillette/SCI (the successor to Storer). Or even a Raycom.

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

CBS should consider buying WJW. WJW is a strong station with a high rated newscast and HD. CBS cant be too happy with WOIO and ''Action News''. Since WUAB is MyNeteork TV, also owned by FOX, News Corp. might buy WOIO/WUAB duopoly with WOIO as a FOX station and improve the news and programming.

Anonymous said...

UPN was a CBS/FOX joint venture? HUH???

Anonymous said...

WJW performed well with CBS, performed well with FOX and I'm sure will continue to do well under new ownership.
Let's hope and pray you don't hear Media General, Sinclair or Nexstar anywhere in the negotiations.

Anonymous said...

It is a shock they are selling WJW considering Cleveland is still a top 20 market (at least for now), they are very strong for FOX in ratings and revune,and they were the first to do the HD local production for FOX. But that could be the exact reason they are selling ch 8.

Maybe they figure they can fetch more money since whoever will get a new studio, and HD equipment, in addition to a money maker which will give the new owners a fast profit.

For FOX, Cleveland presented 2 problems 1.) It was an AFC market and 2.) to create a duopoly it would have taken alot to make a deal happen with WBNX or WOAC since both owners were not really wanting to sell.

The only problem with LIN television is they are also for sale based on reports I have read but I could be wrong.

CBS, Media General, and hell even ABC, and NBC (the last two was thown in there just for fun since they have no real intrest and I wanted to keep the big three together in the discusiion) I don't think have any real intrest in a station here.

My quess will be a Private equity firm will take over ch 8 since players like Providence Equity Partners is buying the clear chanel group.

As much as I and many here in NE Ohio would like to see CBS return to ch 8 and some may actually dream of CBS buying WJW, it is not going to happen because before news corp closes the deal, they are going to sign a long term contract to keep FOX on 8.

It does though make you wonder what news corp overall plan is outside of wanting the Dow Jones is. Could they be looking for another station in the market eventhough Cleveland is not really growing, and is an AFC city.

Could we see FOX return to 19 as a FOX O&O and CBS go to 8 some how? I doubt it but you never know.

Anonymous said...

OMW, warming up to the comments section, maybe?

Anonymous said...

no CBS on WJW please...i like Letterman at 11:35 and not midnight.

Anonymous said...

interesting possibilities....

i kinda hope randy michaels and his new TV group buy all the available FOX stations.......

that would be interesting....

another possibility...the OIO/UAB ownwers buying WJW...selling UAB and swapping affiliations to get CBS back on Ch 8.....

again......just thoughts.....

Tim Lones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Lones said...

If CBS were to buy Channel 8, There's no reason they wouldnt have Letterman at 11:35..Channel 8 would just move their Late News back to 11-11:35..As far as NBC buying Channel 8, In a way NBC hasnt "wanted" to be O&O in Cleveland since 1955..Delling off WKYC years ago..why would they want back in?

11:08 AM

Anonymous said...

NBC is in some financial difficulty right now with major cust cutting being implemented. I can't see any interest from them for WJW.

Anonymous said...

A part of the reason that FOX does not have a duopoly is no one was willing to sell. I think if there was an offer on the table to sell, they would taken it even if it would of been an independent like they had in Dallas on ch 27 prior to the start of my network tv.

Here are the other players that could of worked (feel free to correct me if I am wrong).

WBNX: Ernest Angeley is not going to sell unless he get another channel for the 90 & 9 club. Besides he likes being the only major TV preacher who still owns his own station outside of TBN. Don't forget Lakewood church/Joel Osteen sold ch 55 the tube in Houston last year and Pat Robertson sold his secular independents about 20 years ago, so Angeley must get some kick out of owning his own TV station in addition, WBNX brings his outreach alot of money so I could not see a sell.

WOAC: Since Scripps was looking for a corporate deal for the SAH stations, FOX would have to taken all 5 stations (New York, Boston, San Francisco, Raleigh and Cleveland)and the markets that the SAH stations were located in did not fit FOX's plans.

BTW is there any update on new programming for WOAC? I heard that WOAC's sister station in San Francisco is airing , Chinese-language programming in the evenings and it at some point going to air on all of the former SAH stations so is there any news on that front?

WQHS: When univision bought ch 61, the chances of it going and becoming a station outside of univision is slim to none. WQHS is operated off a shoesting budget, the general manager works out of Washington DC, and outside of few local ad spots, it is pretty much run it off the bird so they can afford to get low ratings and make little to no money.

When Barry Diller owned it, he had plans on converting it into a independent like sister station WAMI in Miami but found out that it would cost too much and was not worth the time and effort. Besides Disney was at one point prior to univision coming in and buying it, was looking at the station and I wondered what if disney would of bought the station instead of univision.

WDLI: owned by TBN no way in hell would they sell.

WVPX: After valuevision and then Paxson buying the station they had their own plans and one of them was not selling out to FOX.

Out of all of this, I am getting this feeling that this could be smoke and mirrors trick on FOX's part.

Could newscorp be putting this out there just to show how badly they want the Dow Jones and by saying they are selling 9 stations they are serious about their intentions?

I mean they have pulled much stranger behavior in the past,so who really knows.

If this goes as planned, Cleveland-Akron will be left without a major O&O if you don't count WDLI-TBN,WVPX-ION, and WQHS-Univision.

I mean even Pittsburgh will have 2 major O&O's KDKA-CBS & WPCW-CW. HAs Cleveland sunk that low? I know stones will be thrown, but I liked WJW being owned by FOX. It gave Cleveland some TV backing.

How many FOX stations let alone FOX O&O stations had what ch 8 had. HD local production, a local movie show, long time local on air personal, local movie hosts hosting movies, and a semi-local talk show.

This is very rare for a O&O and it being owned by FOX it is even more rare and in some cases they were the only ones doing it. And don't forget ch 8's history and you can see WJW was a very rare breed.

I understand this is business but still selling a hertige station with a storied history so you can rasie money to buy the Wall street journal and then start a slanted right-wing biased business channel and claim it was just “lightening up” its roster by selling off stations it considers good but not critical to its performance.

Whoever buyings ch 8, will they cut local programming and people? Ch 8 produces alot of news every weekday so will there be cutbacks?

Anonymous said...

I was not suggesting NBC buying CH 8. I listed them and ABC just to inculde them since just as soon as this story broke some had the idea of FOX 8 WJW owned by news corportaion could become CBS 8 WJW owned by the CBS corportation. I was just trying to inculde eveyone so no one was left out.

Anonymous said...

Austin and Ocala are kind of strange. Austin is nowhere near Dallas or Houston.... about 190 miles to Dallas and 160 to Houston. Ocala is actually closer to Tampa than Orlando and the Ocala station hits some of northern 'burbs of Tampa/St. Pete where Fox already has a duopoly. The only thing I could think of would be that the station could be used to fill in some signal deficiencies of their Tampa station.

I would think that if Fox wanted to get a duopoly in Cleveland they could have gotten it done. Money talks... but apparently Fox declined to talk loud enough (or maybe at all). One would think that the right offer could have gotten them WVPX or WQHS... especially the latter where Cleveland is not a particularly strong Hispanic market. Due to the rim-shot nature of their signals, I doubt that WDLI or WOAC would have been an option.

I would not count any of the networks out in the acquisition race, but I doubt that NBC would be a player. They have a strong affiliate (which they sold some years ago as well as their Columbus O&O). Ditto with ABC, they have a strong affiliate.

CBS might want to get back with WJW. Conventional wisdom would have them coveting a VHF outlet, but with the supposed 2009 switch to all digital, WOIO will be on channel 10 and WJW on channel 31 so why bother? As for "Action News"... personally I think it sucks, but apparently a lot of people beg to differ. This is the only thing that got ratings since WOIO started their news operation many moons ago. I don't think that reason would send CBS running to WJW with an open checkbook.

This will be interesting to watch....

vanillacokehead said...

I was somewhat shocked when I read the article this morning.

It does bring up a lot of interesting possibilities not only for WJW but for the other Cleveland stations.

I see one of three scenarios happening in this situation:

1) some private equity firm takes over the whole group, along with WJW.

2) another "major group" owner, like Cox, Post-Newsweek, or Hearst, takes over WJW.

3) another group whose "niche" is running medium-market stations takes over WJW to make it the flagship of that group.

This and four bucks might get you a latte at Starbucks, though.

The next few months should be interesting in terms of seeing what happens...

Anonymous said...

Ocala to Orlando...78 miles. Ocala to Tampa...100 miles.

Ohio Media Watch said...

We thought that Austin was closer to Houston, but we guess Texas looks so big, everything looks closer in comparison :)

But it's still probably "close enough", having two major market duopolies in Dallas and Houston.

Variety has also said much the same in their article on this, which we'll link as we can find it.

Ocala is MUCH closer to Orlando - Microsoft Streets and Trips says it's a hair over 75 miles from downtown to downtown. And that same Variety article says WOGX is an effective third station for the Orlando cluster, and is operated out of Orlando...

-OMW

Dustin from Akron said...

Here is an idea Gannett buys WJW and moves it in with WKYC. Continue to runs general programing operations in Cleveland and runs all of WJW news operations out of Akron puting the WKYC Akron newscast there and expand the newscast to seven days a week (and maybe expand even more)! WKYC has wanted a 10pm newscast on a over the air station since the JSA with PAX ended. Akron gets it's own newscast on a full power station and Gannett gets the FOX network station of northeast Ohio. Its a win-win situation for all.

Anonymous said...

"Here is an idea Gannett buys WJW and moves it in with WKYC."

Ain't gonna' happen FCC regs preclude a duopoly including two VHF's that are affiliated with the "Big 4" networks. It will allow cross ownership between, say, Fox and MyTV affiliates, or CBS and CW... but not Fox and NBC.

Anonymous said...

"Ocala is MUCH closer to Orlando... it's a hair over 75 miles from downtown to downtown. And that same Variety article says WOGX is an effective third station for the Orlando cluster, and is operated out of Orlando...

Here's the thing.... and it gets real complicated.

WOGX is licensed to Ocala, which is in Marion County, which is indeed located in the Orlando-Daytona DMA. However, Nielsen attributes WOGX it to the Gainesville DMA. The WOGX tower is actually located about 20 miles NW of Ocala and is located in Gaineville DMA. Fox's website attributes it (no doubt for legal reasons) as "Ocala" and does not idenfify with either the Orlando or Gainesville DMA.

WOGX's directional signal oblong north and south), however puts very little coverage into the Orlando-Daytona market with the exception of Marion County which is in the extreme NW corner of the market which extends east to the ocean and south to below Melborne. The signal does fill in a relatively small hole in the Orlando market but does have significant coverage into the northern reaches of the Tampa DMA... a much larger market.

I'm thinking that maybe WOGX has some sort of move-in potential involving Tampa where it appears they don't have a current duopoly.

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget, WEWS has had only ONE owner, Scripps, for the past 60 years. How many stations can match that?

Anonymous said...

A mea culpa, from my earlier post:

UPN was, at first, a joint venture between Viacom/Paramont and Chris-Craft's United Television (hence, United Paramont Network). Viacom bought CBS/Westinghouse in 1999, and gained full network operations. Viacom spilt up into two companies in 2004, with CBS Corp. operating them until the WB merger last year. Of which, I was incorrect in stating otherwise.

But what cannot be disputed is that Chris-Craft sold off their stations in 2001, with FTSC getting the winning bid. WDCA/Washington, KCOP/LA, and WWOR/New York were the top UPN affils, ironically enough, to get bought by Fox. KHBK/San Francisco was the only Viacom acqusition in a trade made with FTSC.

But even though UPN was, in totality, operated by Viacom/CBS, the mere fact that FTSC owned that's network's major-market affiliates - including the East and West Coast flagships!! - is why some would have argued that UPN was controlled by TWO different networks at the same time.

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

There are a couple really stupid "commentaries" on here, along with uninteresting "novels."

Something huge is coming, and you'll all be picking up your jaws. But this speculation is pretty ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

Could Anonymous at 4:10 PM a FOX or WJW insider?

CBS buying WJW is not that hard to imagine. WOIO is the poorest performing CBS affiliate in the whole country-4th place newscast on the number one network, plus CBS has always been news-oriented(that's why WOIO started their newscasts) and what's on WOIO now can hardly be called news. WJW was a strong CBS station and still is a strong FOX station. WJW's news casts are more of wha tyou would expect from CBS. Also WJW has HD news and a HD broadcast, WOIO deos not.

If CBS went to WJW, FOX couuld go to WOIO, then maybe FOX will buy WOIO/WUAB from Raycom and improve those stations. WUAB is My Network TV- owned by FOX.

Anonymous said...

It would... only if it weren't for that pesky little fact that CBS unloaded some of THEIR stations, in markets similar to Cleveland, to Cerebus Capital Partners (you know, the group buying Chrystler?).

So, while they very well WOULD like to leave WOIO (and I wouldn't doubt it if that were the case) for WJW, I can't see CBS buying their way back into the game. At least now.

But I betcha CBS would rather love to buy back WJBK/2, and have them back in their stead. To be forced to buy an also-ran station (WGPR/62, rechristened WWJ-TV) so ungodly high on the dial (it IS positioned as "CBS Detroit" for a reason) was - and is - unheard of for a major broadcast network.

And WWJ-TV STILL has no news department of any kind (never did prior), while it's AM sister station WWJ/950 is the ONLY all-news station in the state!

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

Maybe Randy Learner will buy WJW, flip it to CBS, and finaly have control of the Browns TV games. Taking them away from WOIO.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Nathan on how CBS would love to have WJBK-2 over WWJ-62, but something tells me CBS would accept WJW as a second place prize if the chance comes up and FOX is willing to sell to anyone.

My question is how badly does CBS want to be rid of WOIO? From my understanding CBS gave a dolby 5.1 encoder for the superbowl and then took it back hense the reason WOIO has no dolby sound. Unless things have changed that is the case and again you can correct me if I am wrong.

That and the fact that WOIO's digtal signal is on ch 10 and there is issues with a ch 10 in Canada which prevents them from going full power, it makes a little sense to bring CBS into the picture even just out of guessing.

Remeber WJW is staying on ch 8 after the analog shut down, so could CBS be thinking now is the time to trade in the crapping ch 19 for a better ch 8?

If raycheap in the next few weeks and months places a for sale sign on WOIO/WUAB, then all bets are off.

I am thinking FOX is selling WJW for something else in Cleveland or they are playing one hell of a bluffing game to get the Wall Street Journal.

Anonymous said...

5:16 said maybe FOX is going after something else in CLeveland, maybe FOX wants WOIO. WOIO has the duopoly with WUAB and My Network TV. FOX has FOX/MyTV duopolies in other cities. FOX fixed up WJW (HD, new set) now maybe FOX wants to 'extreme makeover' WOIO. WOIO does not have 5.1 and there is alot of breaking up in their HD channel.

Anonymous said...

To answer 5:16's other question, I would think CBS would want to get rid of WOIO if they had the chance. Sharon Reed the naked news caster and Catherine Bosley do not fit in well with the network that had Cronkite, 60 Minutes and other fine news programs. The whole 'Action News' package feels like it belongs on a FOX station, even a FOX station would do better.

Anonymous said...

Again, I agree: CBS likely hates the WOIO affiliation, especially when WKBN and WTOL perform far and away better than WOIO ever will. And, most of WOIO's InAction News' notorioty is anemthama to CBS News.

But we may not be noticing that if WJW is being sold that a condition of the sale may be for the buyer to sign a LONG, long-term affiliation deal with Fox. (And again, we don't know if FTSC is pulling a MAJOR bluff here to get DowJones - and if that deal falls apart, all bets may be off...)

Not only that, if FTSC is selling the stations, is it a group deal or a individual parsing? If it's the former, then count CBS out for a myraid of reasons. If it's the latter, then the possiblity can be entertained... even though I find it very inconcievable for CBS to buy WJW outright from FTSC.

This story may very well be the most vermillion of red herrings we may have ever seen. The more I think of it, the more it looks too good to be true...

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

I hope the future new owners don't mess with the WJW programming after the news... I like the reruns of Malcolm in the Middle, Seinfeld, and King of the Hill. Also, I like the old ei8ht logo they used to have.

Anonymous said...

Here's I see happening here, RAYCOM pulls a toledo here, making WJW the Flagship station here. In toledo, Raycom ditched NBC 24 for WTOLL 11, the city's sign-on/ sign-off king. I could see them selling off WUAB, and making WOIO the new My TV network. It's sad when a vhf station that sucks like 19 is your company's flagship. But new delemia is, you ditch reserve square, move WOIO in 55th & south marginal, do you intergrate(sp) WJW news dept, with WOIO or do you opt to move your intellectual property meaning you keep that crappy newsstaff of woio.... Im telling if this true, I see RAYCOM as a darkhorse in this waiting to dump fox like a bad habit......

Anonymous said...

Raycom buying WJW is definitely the worst case scenario. If Raycom bought WJW, we will see another Cleveland TV station go down the toilet. There is no doubt WOIO would move from the basement of Reserve Square to WJW's building. WOIO will pillage WJW for their HD equipment just like Malrite did with WUAB's news when WOIO needed news after becoming CBS. Raycom buying WJW could be a possibility.

Anonymous said...

This is an aside for anonymous 4:20.

I know this is picky, but WOIO did not start a news department for CBS. I worked at WOIO News soon after it got started with the old purple "hot tub" set. WOIO started planning its News Dept. when the station was still a Fox affiliate. They planned a Fox News operation (the set, Emmette Miller as an anchor, etc.). As it neared the end of the planning stage, Rupert Murdoch made the infamous phone call to Milt Maltz, informing him that Fox had agreed to purchase the onetime Storer stations, WJW included, and that Fox was pulling its affiliation from WOIO. Part of the station's problems are related to the fact that they planned a Fox-news type of operation, and suddenly found themselves in need of a more button-down, CBS type of news operation.

I know this really doesn't change anything, but I did want to point out that WOIO had news well in the planning stages before CBS entered the pictrue.

Anonymous said...

"There are a couple really stupid "commentaries" on here, along with uninteresting "novels."

Something huge is coming, and you'll all be picking up your jaws. But this speculation is pretty ludicrous."

Sounds like more jaw flapping and speculation. If you know something, contribute. If you take issue with any of the "commentaries" or "novels" feel free to rebut. Otherwise, you're no better than those you criticize.

Anonymous said...

Here's a scary thought. What if Raycom buys WJW! It's horrifying.

I saw it mentioned but it seems weird that this comes when WJW is getting their brand new set soon, ala FOX News style.

Out of all the comments I would hope CBS would buy it and dump WOIO as their affiliate.

Anonymous said...

How about this scenario:

Nobody has brought up the chance that Sinclair may be a player here.

They have multiple stations in nearby cities (ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus, My 64 in Cincinnati, My 22/FOX 53 in Pittsburgh, ABC 8/FOX 11 in Huntington/Charleston WV).

You would think they'd like to get into Cleveland somehow, and this would be their shot.

Anonymous said...

cbs will buy wjw be cbs8

Anonymous said...

Nobody mentioned Tribune.

Here's an idea: Tribune buys WJW, makes it CBS. Tribune also owns some CW stations(WGN, WPIX, KTLA) The CW is owned by CBS. Tribune makes a deal to buy WBNX and still keep Ernest Angeley on the air, and maybe start his religious programming channel on WBNX DT2. Since WJW's news moved to 11pm b/c CBS and they are a duopoly with WBNX, a 10pm news could be shown on WBNX. The Akron Canton area needs an over the air newscast, the WBNX 10pm news could focus more on Akron-Canton and WJW still keeps their #1 10pm news. WJW could even go after Eric Mansfield toe end his contract with those bastards at Time Warner Cable(who doesn't even show the news on all of their systems, some in Summit County).

The bad part of this theory is FOX would move to WOIO and we would no longer have HD FOX. FOX is big on HD, most of their shows are HD(House, Prison Break, 24, plus the NFL, MLB, and the World Series) Then we could hope Murdoch gets mad at Raycom and buys out WOIO and WUAB, moves them out of the basement at Reserve Square(WKYC's old studios might still be empty), does an HD conversion, new set and graphics and improves their newscasts.

This proably will never happen, but you have to admit it would be nice. Cleveland would be ahead again becaus eall six major network affiliates would have newscasts and all six would be in HD. This could help move Cleveland up in the TV market rankings.

Anonymous said...

The only problem with tribune buying ch 8 is they to are going though a ownership change as well. If ch 8 is still for sale after all of this (tribune sale goes though, the Wall Street Journal deal) then I would say Tribune might be interested.

If tribune was to buy ch 8 they would almost 100% keep fox as the network since they have 19 other FOX stations and they would not want to risk losing FOX in places like Indinalopis.

But your idea I like since in the end we would have 6 HD newscasts,and 2 stations owned by FOX which would be very sweet.

Anonymous said...

Raycom will buy WJW,and here's the fall-out if it doesn't happen before hand. Smith/Goddard will RETIRE WITH A NICE PACKAGE FROM FOX IF SMART THAT'S WHAT THEY SHOULD DO. David Moss,Robin Swoboda,the 4PM,5PM&6-10-11PM Anchors fired,along with Shannon O'Brien. Sharon Reed might survive,but the NOON TEAM WILL BE RETAINED. It is just a thought FRIGHTENING as it is IT COULD HAPPEN. Others canned could be RICK ABEL,TODD MEANY,SUZANNE STRATFORD AND FINALLY BILL APPLEGATE AND THE MGNT.TEAM AT WOIO.

Anonymous said...

Martin/Bell,along with the sports and weather department at ch.8 and the morning news at 8 will remain in place. Lou Maglio will continue to anchor the 6pm news. Dray will be paired up with Catherine Bosley or Danielle Serino. Kevin Freeman continues to anchor sunday morning news the question is on WOIO OR WJW. Should be most interesting scene to be played out.

Anonymous said...

cbs out in at woio

Anonymous said...

Raycom buying WJW would be the worst thing to happen to Northeast Ohio TV. Here's a look at what could be a very scary future in our area very soon:

WOIO would move out of Reserve Square and into S. Marginal Road. All three stations would now have HD broadcasts from WJW's equipment. Robin's show would be cancelled and the second studio would be used for the Brown's show during football season. WJW and WUAB would be secondary stations and WOIO would still be the main station. The news on WOIO would stay the same, FOX8's morning, noon and 5 and 6pm news would be cancelled. The 10pm news would still be on, probably called '19 Action News at 10 on FOX8'. They would not want to give up the 19 Action News title. Most of the anchors at WJW would quit and if they don't, they probably be let go because 19 likes their reporters. The weather, sports and I-Team would also be cut. SKYFOX would be renamed 19 Action News Chopper HD and Pat Brady would be replaced with Rick Abell. The morning news on WOIO would still be on, they would not make compitition for themselves by having a FOX8 show also plus Raycom would rather sell the time to paid programs than simulcast WOIO's news. Also the FOX8 morning show takes too much money and work. Raycom and WOIO are cheap and lazy and would not want to take time to get guests on the morning show and have Kenny Crumpton and Robin Swoboda do the shows in the morning. Afterall, WOIO used the local weather break in The Early Show to show a commercial.

Programming on WJW would be moved to fill in the time left where news used to be. The rest of the time would be sold to Guthy Renker(like how WUAB has about 12 hours of paid programs a day) No more movies on Saturday night because FOX already got rid of Big Chuck and Lil John.

Ratings on WJW, WOIO and WUAB would sink to new lows. People would be angry because long time personalities are thrown out. But Raycom and WOIO don't care, sex sells and they would rather have Sharon Reed and Catherine Bosley do a sleazy newscast than Dick Goddard and Wilma Smith who are popular Cleveland TV icons. But Raycom doesn't give a crap about anything and it would be very sad to see three of our TV stations ruined by these people. I hope someone at Tribune, News Corp. and WJW is reading this, please don't let Raycom buy WJW.

Anonymous said...

We don't need Raycom @ WJW. WJW is a very strong station. It could be possbile that FOX will buy 19/43 and move to CBS over to WJW again. I can see it now "Cleveland's Own CBS 8".. WJW being a CBS O&O. I still say that Trib will get into the deal some way and keep it FOX... Keep Raycom and and Sinclair out this deal. What about Belo or Media General? WFAA in Dallas is Belo TV flagship station. Media owns WCMH a former NBC O&O.

Anonymous said...

Murdoch could be interested in WOIO/WUAB, they would be good as a ''fixer upper'' Jus like when FOX did the HD conversion and new set and graphics at WJW. WJW probably would not be HD without FOX's help. WUAB is MyNetwork TV and it has already been mentioned that FOX likes and is keeping duopolies with FOX/MyTV.

It would be good if another company(like CBS or even FOX buying WOIO) comes into our area. Just as long as its not Sinclair(who has a problem with conservative bias)

On anither note, some of these comments appear to have been written by an insider(WJW, FOX or someone involved with this) If you are reading, please give an update on the sale of WJW or the new set. Lots of unanswered questions.

Anonymous said...

The only problem with raycheap buying ch 8 is they would have to sell either ch19 or 43 since the fcc doea not allow for one onwer to own 3 stations in a market unless there are at least 18 stations. So unless they sell ch 19 and produce news for all 3, it will not happen.

i think Belo, media general, Tribune, and post newsweek are are players here. Cleveland is still a large market, so one of the bigger station groups will show intrest.

If you look at these links, you will see everything is on the table.

http://www.tvnewsday.com/articles/2007/06/13/daily.1/

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20070615/cm_huffpost/052375

Anonymous said...

What 6:59 said just might be a saving grace. Raycom can not own 3 TV stations in the market. I don't really see Raycom coming in to WJW either, thank God.

And I agree, Sinclair doesn't give two sh**s about its local newscasts. This is the company that does many of them from "News Central" in Maryland. If I remember right, in Pittsburgh, they have WPXI Channel 11, the NBC affil, producing their Fox 53 newscasts.

Belo, Media General, Trib. I'd be ok with any of those, most of their stations look like fairly quality operations.