Monday, June 16, 2008

Love Him Or Hate Him

Raycom Media CBS/MyNet combo WOIO/19-WUAB/43 general manager Bill Applegate gets a profile treatment in Broadcasting & Cable magazine this week, and also lets forth a bit of news.

The Cleveland market's most controversial TV executive makes no apologies for his style in the article titled "Bold and Brash Is Good News for Applegate":

Love it or loathe it, a Bill Applegate newscast is like no other. It's fast, hard-hitting, brash and—to the profound chagrin of news purists—loaded with opinion. When Applegate, the VP/General Manager of WOIO and WUAB Cleveland, thought about shaking Raycom's duopoly out of its doldrums seven years ago, he imagined the stations' newscasts as TV versions of the New York Post—noisy, glitzy and in your face.

“To duplicate what was already being done wouldn't have gotten me anywhere,” Applegate says. “I think a lot of executives in local television are reluctant to take risks, and as a result you end up with newscasts that unfortunately all look alike.”

Applegate tells B&C's Michael Malone that WOIO has moved into third place in revenue in the Cleveland market, behind WJW/8 and WKYC/3...with this interesting twist:

It'll be some time before WOIO challenges heavyweights WJW and WKYC, but Applegate is pleased to report it's taken over third place in revenue.

“Third may not sound that good, but when you come from sixth, it is pretty good,” he says. “We've had to build a news department from scratch.”

Umm, OK.

The newsy part of the article confirms something kicked around the local rumor mill the past month or so.

Malone says Applegate is "pondering an hour-long program on WUAB, a MyNetworkTV affiliate, that would be modeled after the personality-driven talk shows on cable news, such as Countdown With Keith Olbermann". The goal, says Applegate, would be to bring in younger viewers so news can be relevant to the "next generation" of TV watchers.

The article doesn't say, but this possible "My 43" hour long show would presumably replace or supplement the current edition of "19 Action News at 10" on least that's the rumors we'd heard before this article came out. The rumor mill has tabbed 19's Sharon Reed in some role with the new show, if it gets put on the air.

We'll have to see if it becomes a reality...


d matt cleckner said...

i stopped watching channel 19 from a story from 2004. They decided to put on a psychic "predicting" the election of 2004. First of all, the psychic said Kerry would win Ohio and the presidency. Then they stated that the psychic had been right before. The psychic claimed "prior" knowledge of 9/11. Then claimed knowing the Indians would lose the World Series. The only problem with that one was that she had confused the information from 1995 with information from 1997. It was clear that there are no editors or producers at "action news". The 9/11 comment is shameful. Anyone that claimed to know about 9/11 should be asked "how is that"? Then as Penn and Teller said, they should be arrested for treason. I sent my concerns (twice) onto the General Mgr. Almost 4 years and still no response. This is one story. There has got to be many more from these buffoons.

Tellit said...

The idea for a news type talk show geared toward younger viewers isn't a new one in this market. The Daily Buzz on The CW affiliate, although not completely local, already does that in the mornings. I noticed after it had been on about a year that other local news anchors started loosening up a bit more and adapted a more casual tone. Seems the casual, younger news talk is the way things are going. And, they've got the right idea that teens and young adults don't care to hear as much local news (like who was killed today or what house burnt down) as they do more national "fun" news about celebs, advice and entertainment. Not that I see anything wrong with that. Just an observation.