I'm going to say this outright and realize that they have to air the Newscasts under their affiliation clause and not have it pre-recorded from an NBC affiliate and I am happy that SInclair is investing in a news and information program for KDNL for them to retain ABC.
There is nothing to stop them from outsourcing it. They just might not be able to find a new partner.
I'm also curious if KSDK may be compelled to end their news agreement with KDNL so as to help win favor with the FCC in clearing the Belo/Gannett merger. Even as the KMOV shell spinoff still raises concern with me.
If that was the case, KDNL may have no other option but to restart something loosely resembling a news op.
That's the whole reason...period! I posted this earlier in the thread:
First, this quote from the article "A Gannett spokesman said the decision to end the partnership is unrelated to Gannett's announcement last week that it is acquiring Belo Corp. of Dallas, which owns KMOV Channel 4 in St. Louis." is complete BS. Of course it does! Gannett is going to draw some scrutiny with it's Belo purchase and the STL market in particular. They are trying to convince everyone that Sander/Tucker will be operating the stations separetely. By all accounts Sander/Tucker's roles are basically going to be like a trustee, for lack of a better term. There is no reason to draw additional attention to yourself with another news share agreement in the same market. I don't expect them to say "Yep,
our Sander's purchase of KMOV is why we did this" as that would draw an even more watchful eye. But, let's be real here this was all because of the Belo purchase.
And, they aren't getting just "some scrutiny" as I originally expected but a fullblown FCC/DOJ enema. Gannett would have gladly kept taking S!nclair's money but, they knew it wasn't going to fly.
Wasn't the Gannett-Belo deal done after the agreement was ripped up? Plus we aren't sure if Gannett will be allowed to keep both KMOV and KSDK, there may easily be a forced divestiture/trade clause in the final deal.
It may be a combination of both the Gannett-Belo deal plus the internal assumption that Sinclair was going to acquire the Local TV LLC stations and put KDNL with KTVI.
The two events occurred in the same week a few days apart from one another. But I think you're right, it was a combination of the Belo-Gannett deal as well as Sinclair assuming it was going to get KTVI via Local TV.
Now it looks like Sinclair is scrambling to get some sort of newscast on KDNL on 1/1/2014 so it can still honor its affiliation agreement.
The Belo deal was announced June 13th. The KSDK/KNDL newscast agreement announcement was June 20th. So, exactly one week later.
I don't think S!nclair assumed they were getting KTVI. They may have liked to but, I really don't think they thought it was a sure thing. Plus, As I've stated elsewhere KTVI was in a wierd situation with the KPLR LMA adding another layer. It might have involved working (or negotiating a sale) with another party, Tribune.
S!nclair was by all accounts blindsided. Gannett/KSDK unilaterally terminated the agreement (which I'm sure is within their right to do.) So, I don't think S!nclair agreed to it because they thought a KTVI purchase was in the bag. They were handed a letter that said "We're Out". They had no say in the matter.
I posted S!nclair's options earlier in the thread. Again, operating under the theory that their afffliation agreement with ABC contains a "newscast clause" I'll repost these options:
Purchase KTVI(/KPLR by way of the LMA) and fold their operations into KDNL. This would be a worst case scenario for folks in the STL market as it could potentially leave them with only 2 tv news voices. The KMOV/KSDK combo & the combo of KTVI/KPLR/KDNL. That said I think the valuation of the Local TV properties makes it much less likely for a Sinclair purchase. Therefore, I see this as the least likely option.
Partner with another station in the market. Again that basically leads you to the KTVI/KPLR combo. Depending on who purchases KTVI(/KPLR by way of the LMA) this may or may not be an option.
3. Partner with a sister station hire and few reporters at KDNL to file reports. Picture something along the lines of the old KUTV - WTVX arrangement. Sinclair will soon have 2 respected ABC affliates in the Pacific Time Zone, KATU & KOMO. So, in theory KDNL could partner with either KATU or KOMO, allowing them to produce the newscasts from their facilities with reports from the field reporters in STL. And, due to the time zone difference the newscasts could potentially be done live with little to no disruption to KATU or KOMO's newscasts. Right now if I was hazarding a guess I'd think some variation of this is most likely.
4. Restart an in-house operation. As I stated earlier in the thread, this could be a bit of a bessing in disguise. If ABC has a "newscast clause" written into their agreement w/ KDNL/Sinclair (which I think they do) this could essentially force them to restart an in-house operation if they can't find a new partner. And, the "marketplace" that caused KDNL to abandon their newscasts has changed drastically since then. The consolidation in the STL market could present an opportunity to gain a foothold this time around.
5. Beg ABC to release them from said "newscast clause." If ABC did finally put this into the affliation agreement I'd be shocked if they let them out. Especially when it appears ABC allowed them to do the bare mininum amount of news in order to get the "newscast clause" into the affliation agreement.
So, they only have 3 options left and #5 seems highly unlikely. If it was up to me I'd go with option #3 to start with the goal of working towards option #4. It would spare the Fisher stations from the seemingly inevitable layoffs as they would be doing double the output. It would give KDNL a solid presentation and production value vs. rushing to start something in-house. You could have a dedicated anchor team for the KNDL newscasts. Have them periodically do appearences in the STL market. And, once they get a foundation built they can move the whole operation to STL. It's really the best of both worlds (or close to) as S!nclair would have little risk vs. dumping a large amount of cash into a full scale new operation. S!nclair could instead make incremental investments as they go which is much more palatable. STL viewers would have a polished newscast vs. one quickly slapped together.
So, here we are Sinclair is looking to establish some sort of "newsroom" at KDNL. To what extent, IDK. The job jostings referenced by tyrannical bastard are here, here & here. IDK, but my first thought reading the tea leaves (job discriptions) makes me think it might be a morning show.