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Granite sells stations to Scripps & Quincy.


CircleSeven

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So the effect is to make the Quincy stations multi-network affiliated while leaving the SagamoreHill stations with The CW. That's kind of...odd.

 

Yeah, it lacks sense, especially since by saddling KDLH and WISE with CW affiliations as standalones, it could create a really mirky future for the both of them, compared to if they keep their respective primary CBS and NBC affiliations. Standalone CW affiliates have a better chance of surviving in larger markets (like New York, L.A. and Chicago) than in markets like Fort Wayne and Duluth. At least in Evansville (which the proposed deal between Quincy and SagamoreHill would create a similar local television marketplace as), WTVW is part of an SSA with WEHT, giving it better odds for survival (a CW or MyNetworkTV affiliate being involved in an SSA, to me, makes more sense than if the station was an NBC, ABC, CBS or Fox affiliate, given that stations affiliated with those networks often pull in better in-market viewership, and the intention of these agreements is to help weaker stations).

 

Essentially, this proposal as with the Sinclair/Howard Stirk and Gray deals were done to deliberately end run the FCC's NPRM that was intended to restrict stations from using loopholes to acquire stations through outsourcing agreements by using another loophole in its ownership laws... that programming constitutes as a non-license asset and can be transferred from one station to another (Gray used the nuclear option in this regard by shutting down full-power stations completely and transferring their programming to a subchannel of one of their existing stations and/or LPTV), regardless of any binding programming contracts with a syndicator or network... rather than play by the intention of the NPRM and transfer all assets controlled by the licensee of a de facto sister station fully to the station's own licensee or to an incumbent licensee with no existing ties to the market. In this and the Howard Stirk cases, by doing this, they intentionally try to make a case that LMA/JSA/SSAs are necessary by saddling the station they have to give up with programming that might not attract as many viewers (like HSH did with Heartland replacing ABC on the main channels of the former WCFT, WJSU and WCIV), thereby allowing the station to possibly fail. I'm not sure if the pending spectrum auction also plays a factor, which would explain (at least, in part) Gray's shutdown/programming transfer transactions.

 

Another aspect of the FCC's ownership rules that doesn't make sense to me is why the amount of hours a licensee can provide legally to another station under an SSA/LMA (or in this instance, what amounts to a news share agreement under Quincy's proposal revision) before it constitutes an illegal duopoly is so low, limiting the amount of local programming to no more than three hours a day on weekdays and one hour on weekends in a lot of cases. The cap most common (15% to 20%) might be acceptible for a CW or MyNetworkTV station, but is pretty low for some Big Four stations (like WAWV and many Fox affiliates) under such arrangements; the maximum cap should be between 21% (or 35 hours) and 30% (or 50 hours) of a station's weekly schedule in those cases.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

WEEK-TV sale could mean an end to joint agreement with WHOI

http://www.pjstar.com/article/20150929/NEWS/150929229

 

From TimfromSpfdIL on the AVS Forum:

 

Is it just me or would anyone else not be surprised if the end of the JSA results in WHOI's operations/master control being moved from Springfield Road in East Peoria (with WEEK) to East Cook Street in Springfield by being run out of WICS' studios (alongside WICD Champaign), perhaps even as at least a part-time satellite of 20/15 despite the separate markets (other than commercials, news if 19's news stays at 5:30, and some local programming)? I wouldn't be surprised if the Peoria-Bloomington market becomes introduced to "ABC News Channel 19" a la 20 and 15 here in Springfield and Champaign, respectively (and with a new 19 logo similar to that of 20 and 15).

 

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-local-hdtv-info-reception/412347-peoria-il-hdtv-75.html#post37674313

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm new to this board, but I've lived in Peoria for almost six years and I have to say....WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS MARKET??? This is the worst TV market I've ever lived in! What's with all the infomercials? I'm guessing that the stations can't afford to buy syndicated programming to fill the time because they can't be making much off of the infomercials. (The station receives a percentage of the sales that can be attributed to the station.)

 

And when Pope Francis made appearances on his recent visit to the US, WMBD carried an infomercial rather than CBS's live coverage of his speech to Congress that ran at 9:00am. (Does WMBD have an automation system that runs programming? I keep seeing them drop commercials in when the network programming is still running.) They eventually cut to the CBS feed abruptly with no announcement.

 

And don't get me started to news coverage...when a newscast is obviously recorded and the same news anchor appears on both stations at the same time reading the same news copy, that's SH---Y news coverage. Why don't they just simulcast the news? (Hint: It would save money....) Also, thank goodness the Quincy newspaper is buying WEEK! At least they know how to cover news! I'm looking forward to the November closing on the sale.

 

Why does the sound in the WHOI news studio sound like it's coming from a cardboard box? It sounds so FLAT! And it simply doesn't match the audio from any other source.

 

Question: Is the operation agreement between Nexstar and Cunningham still open-ended? I can see a consolidation of WYZZ and WHOI in the future (considering the co-ownership between Sinclair and Cunningham), but I wonder if it will include WMBD in some way. I don't think WMBD can survive as a stand-alone operation, but I also don't think there's room on North University to add another operation.

 

One more thing... PLEASE stop calling newscasts "shows". Even CBS refers to their news as a "broadcast" and not a show.

 

The radio market is just as bad! I worked in radio for almost 40 years and watched as ownership rules changed. I started out while I was in high school when automation consisted of reel-to-reel music tapes and Top 40 was still on AM stations. I got out when I reached the point where ownership was consolidating stations (and staffs) and consultants took over control of the programming. The only thing I liked about my last days of radio was that computers had just taken over on-air operations. I loved having the music and commercials on hard drive, and the last station I programmed used the system as live assist before the station's owners decided to totally automate and eliminated everyone on the staff, consolidating the operation with four other stations the company owned in three different studio locations into one location. All five of the stations were run by two full time employees and some high school students who ran board ops for sports broadcasts that couldn't be automated.

 

After the tornado went through Washington a couple of years ago it was apparent that nobody working on-air even knew FCC rules about station identification...back when JMP stations simulcasted the entire group to provide news and information (a good thing) but the announcers on duty NEVER gave legal station ID's during the entire broadcast...they kept referring to the stations by image names but NOT call letters and city of license (calling them the JMP Media Group was not a legal ID). Do FCC rules still state that (with a very few exceptions) station ID's must be run as close to the top of the hour as possible within the natural flow of programming (which does NOT include song segues).

 

Thanks for letting me post this rant.

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And all of the BIG 4 stations in Peoria are related in some way!

 

WYZZ 43 = Cunningham Broadcasting (a.k.a. Sinclair) but operated under LMA by Nexstar

WMBD 31 = Nexstar

WEEK 25 = Granite Broadcasting Corporation (being sold to Quincy)

WHOI 19 = Sinclair but operated under JSA/SSA by Granite

 

I swear, WYZZ 43 is connected to WMBD 31, but is also connected to WHOI 19, but WHOI 19 itself is also connected to WEEK 25.

 

This is a very messed up market.

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At least the LMA between WEEK and WHOI will end within 9 months. I think it's an embarrassment that among six local TV stations, there's only two news departments.

 

The other question will be what happens with the LMA between WAOE and WEEK. They've already ended the news share between Granite and Four Seasons (happened Dec. 31, 2014). From what I read elsewhere, I suspect there will be a new news share agreement in place between the two stations the minute Quincy Newspapers take over WEEK. Regardless, don't be surprised if one of these stations creates a new news department. With WEEK and WHOI splitting, both stations will have an orphaned news operation and WHOI won't have a home when the LMA ends. Both stations have their own anchor staff, but share field reporters. The question will be: who will Jim Mattson go with? He was one of the few that stayed with the LMA from HOI19 and losing him will really hurt WEEK. Three others (Mark Welp, Gretchin Wertz and Eric Greene) will probably stay with HOI19. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out and how quickly it happens.

 

Did I notice that some of WEEK's trucks no longer have HOI19's logos? I saw a reporter doing a live stand-up from downtown and I swear I didn't see anything on the tech truck about WHOI.

 

Technical question...why is the audio level on WYZZ lower than WMBD's signal, and why is WYZZ 43.2's volume so low on GetTV that I have to turn my my TV volume up all the way to hear it? I take the signal off air rather than from Comcast, even though I have cable service in the apartment where I live.

 

As far as the time it took to get WMBD/WYZZ up to speed with Hi-Def, a friend who works for Nexstar in another market told me that he was told the reason that those stations didn't upgrade to local Hi-Def was because WMBD didn't have enough billing to cover the cost and Sinclair didn't want to put their own money into the process and get hung out to dry if the LMA between those two stations ended. I don't know how true that could be, but it certainly sounds like it could be right.

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At least the LMA between WEEK and WHOI will end within 9 months. I think it's an embarrassment that among six local TV stations, there's only two news departments.

 

The other question will be what happens with the LMA between WAOE and WEEK. They've already ended the news share between Granite and Four Seasons (happened Dec. 31, 2014). From what I read elsewhere, I suspect there will be a new news share agreement in place between the two stations the minute Quincy Newspapers take over WEEK. Regardless, don't be surprised if one of these stations creates a new news department. With WEEK and WHOI splitting, both stations will have an orphaned news operation and WHOI won't have a home when the LMA ends. Both stations have their own anchor staff, but share field reporters. The question will be: who will Jim Mattson go with? He was one of the few that stayed with the LMA from HOI19 and losing him will really hurt WEEK. Three others (Mark Welp, Gretchin Wertz and Eric Greene) will probably stay with HOI19. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out and how quickly it happens.

 

Did I notice that some of WEEK's trucks no longer have HOI19's logos? I saw a reporter doing a live stand-up from downtown and I swear I didn't see anything on the tech truck about WHOI.

 

Technical question...why is the audio level on WYZZ lower than WMBD's signal, and why is WYZZ 43.2's volume so low on GetTV that I have to turn my my TV volume up all the way to hear it? I take the signal off air rather than from Comcast, even though I have cable service in the apartment where I live.

 

As far as the time it took to get WMBD/WYZZ up to speed with Hi-Def, a friend who works for Nexstar in another market told me that he was told the reason that those stations didn't upgrade to local Hi-Def was because WMBD didn't have enough billing to cover the cost and Sinclair didn't want to put their own money into the process and get hung out to dry if the LMA between those two stations ended. I don't know how true that could be, but it certainly sounds like it could be right.

 

The JSA between WEEK and WAOE ended on December 31st, 2014, causing the cancelation of the news-sharing agreement and the primetime 9pm newscast that WEEK had for WAOE. The Dr. Oz Show has been on at 9pm since the newscast was canceled.

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I find it interesting that both WEEK and WHOI are running ads looking for salespeople for both stations and CI News Now and giving Granite's e-mail address for applicants.

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My dad's side of the family has a lot of roots in Peoria. I've seen the TV stations and heard the radio stations since the 1980s. My grandparents lived there for more than 60 years. My aunt and uncle still do, and for many years they lived practically within walking distance of WMBD-TV ("World's Most Beautiful Drive" if you didn't know). A former co-worker of mine is now the news director at MBD. I hope for WEEK's sake, Quincy is able to make some investments. Several years ago I remember watching their news and discovering it was being simulcast on WHOI with almost no distinguishing characteristics.

 

Radio has always been a mess-- lots of class A sticks, few stations with legitimate full-market coverage.

 

As a whole, Peoria has limited potential revenue. I don't think there's enough for more than two news departments.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As of last Thursday, October 29, WMBD and WYZZ are able to broadcast syndicated programming, their news promos and some commercials in HI-DEF. Also, on the same day, WHOI began a soft rollout of CometTV on 19.3. It debuted today, October 31. Supposedly, Quincy Newspapers will take over WEEK tomorrow, but I haven't heard anything about it officially. The FCC approved the takeover on September 15. http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/pro...etter_id=60546. It'll be interesting to see what happens...

UPDATE: I got a message on another board that WMBD and WYZZ are not doing some commercials in "stretchvision" not HI-DEF. I noticed some of the stuff is letterboxed, but I can see some stuff that's full screen now that wasn't last week.

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Sinclair Broadcasting is advertising for an Operations Director for WHOI in Peoria. The posting went on line at their website late last week. From the job description, I'd say they're looking to set up a new operation here.

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