It's official - Cleveland no longer has a network "owned and operated" TV station.
New ownership group Local TV LLC closed on the purchase of eight FOX-owned stations Monday, including "Cleveland's Own" WJW/8 "FOX 8" right here in Northeast Ohio.
OMW hears that WJW, and other new Local TV outlets, announced the sale on air Monday. And "FOX 8" also puts this item on its website:
WJW wants to let you know that you will continue to see your favorite programs on Fox 8 -- including Fox 8 News, American Idol, The Simpsons, House and the MLB All-Star game Tuesday night.
Though it's not said directly in the story, there has been some question about the future of FOX 8's network programming...well, at least among some in the print media.
Here at OMW, we haven't wondered...as we reported very early on that WJW and the other stations now in Local TV's hands agreed to a long-term (10 year) deal to remain as affiliates of FOX.
As we wrote at the time, it'd be basically television insanity for the network to leave the affiliation status "up in the air" in the Local TV markets. And it makes sense for WJW's new owners to "stay the course", as "FOX 8" has been very, very successful in the FOX era.
What does it mean for viewers?
We don't know...yet.
While viewers will indeed continue to see those popular shows on WJW, Local TV could make any number of decisions regarding how it deals with WJW's operations, both on-air and off-air.
It'd seem for the moment that any major changes would be ill-advised, but that's just our take...