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WMGM is losing its NBC affiliation.


CircleSeven

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In addition being an NBC affiliate brings valuable advertising revenue and ratings into the station.

 

Stations have tried to keep up their news operations after losing network affiliations. Some have succeeded. But in smaller markets, the KTRVs, WTVXs, and WJKSs of the world have not fought long with news departments while independent.

 

WJKS, if i remember correctly, didn't even try news as an independent/WB station. They spent about another month with ABC after shuttering their news department.

 

A few independent stations in outlying areas of big markets have tried to establish newscasts: WTVE in Reading, PA, WTZA/WRNN in Kingston, NY, KFTY in Santa Rosa, CA, KHIZ in Barstow, CA, to name a few. They all failed eventually. WFMZ is the only station I know of that managed to make it work long-term; though KFTY and WRNN had good runs.

 

Whether WMGM's news department could make a go of it as an indy, however, is probably a moot point. While there is precedent, I don't see how a spectrum speculator would have any interest in taking a high risk venture like keeping news going without a network to back it up; especially if the station's going to go dark in couple of years anyway

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WJKS, if i remember correctly, didn't even try news as an independent/WB station. They spent about another month with ABC after shuttering their news department.

 

A few independent stations in outlying areas of big markets have tried to establish newscasts: WTVE in Reading, PA, WTZA/WRNN in Kingston, NY, KFTY in Santa Rosa, CA, KHIZ in Barstow, CA, to name a few. They all failed eventually. WFMZ is the only station I know of that managed to make it work long-term; though KFTY and WRNN had good runs.

 

Whether WMGM's news department could make a go of it as an indy, however, is probably a moot point. While there is precedent, I don't see how a spectrum speculator would have any interest in taking a high risk venture like keeping news going without a network to back it up; especially if the station's going to go dark in couple of years anyway

 

Yeah, but still, Media General (which had freshly bought the station) did have an interest in expanding news and then it was deemed unfeasible. They spent two more months with ABC (which could have been four but WJKS began preempting shows and the network got unhappy).

 

Also, the KHIZ effort was produced across the country, in Erie, Pennsylvania (the station was co-owned with WSEE).

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I completely understand that the viewers are frustrated at the loss of local news but on the other hand I completely agree with the reason why NBCUniversal did this. The spectrum auction is next year and all signs point to the stations 6 megahertz of bandwidth is going to be used for our cell phones and it would probably be cheaper for both parties to drop the affiliation now rather than mid contract.

 

I think it was mentioned earlier NBCUniversal could easily setup a semi satellite station to WCAU much like Hearst operating WNNE as a semi satellite to WPTZ. They could set up a low power digital station with a New Jersey bureau with some anchors and live reports that will only be see on the low power digital station. One way they could do it is make one of the blocks different between the two transmitters, where there are two A Blocks one for Philadelphia and the other for NJ, then the stations would go to commercial show the same B block, then weather where the Philadelphia area would get a live report but NJ would be pre taped, and finally the sports would be the same for both unless there was some sort of regional interest and one could be pretaped.

 

This type of broadcasting seems to work well in England where there are a few main newscasts and at the end of it, both on the BBC and ITV, have the option to OPT OUT where they do the local news for five to ten minutes using similar studios and the same graphics. When they are done they OPT IN to the network and return to the national program where they close the show. But this has some criticism by viewers that they are only getting regional news and now local news because of the way the stations are set up where three or four transmitters are setup for each region showing the same content but I believe through a twitter friend ITV is going to start breaking down and making local news for each persons individual transmitter rather than one newscast for this big area.

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For the record, thus far, they are only losing their affiliation, not their newscast!

It is almost a guarantee that they will loose their newscast once the spectrum auction takes place and I think that is what people are most upset about.
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I don't know about WNBC, but WCAU covers the Garden State better than any other station. You'll have Cydney Long pop up for something in the Jersey suburbs, Greenberg has his Jersey Shore Bureau beat, Na'eem Douglas is/was on the Trenton beat, and they'll often have Howard Thompson report something from Ocean County. Jersey gets quite a bit of coverage on their newscasts, more than I can see on WPVI.

 

I do agree - when WMGM gets out of the news business a big hole will be left there. Following the elimination of NJN, there's really no dedicated television station that's doing news in house. (You can make an argument for Chasing New Jersey, but that's being produced by the WTXF general manager's production company.) There is a huge hole, and a market could be created out of it. If it were feasible, perhaps the NY/PHL stations could do something in that overlap area...

 

I just turned on WPVI and saw 2 stories from Jersey in the first 5 minutes! Ironic! Haha.

 

 

I live on the other end of the Philly DMA, in the Lehigh Valley. While I prefer 3,6,&10, I will tell you that 95% of the people here locally (we are 50 mins away from Philly) prefer WFMZ 69 for their news, who is not affiliated with any of the Big 4 (or 6) for that matter. They do not care what is going on in Philly or what the weather forecast for Philly is. They don't care about the graphics or news set. The Philly stations will cover one Lehigh Valley story if we're lucky. They don't even have Lehigh Valley designated reporters/correspondents anymore.

 

Definitely agree with that! I'm in the Lehigh Valley, too, and I don't know if "95%" of people prefer WFMZ, but tons do. I like both WFMZ and Philly stations - my issue with watching 69 News all the time is the stories get repetitive, since not a WHOLE lot happens up here. Something that runs on the 5 or 6 o'clock show is often also on the 10, and many times even shown on Sunrise the next day. My parents prefer to watch 69 in the morning, and I prefer to watch it at 10, and channel 6 any other time I want news. I have a feeling their ratings go way up (much like anyone else's) during any winter event, because of the Stormcenter Update. An incredibly comprehensive closings/delays system.

 

Maybe WCAU could do something like WFMZ's Berks Edition, air a South Jersey edition at a different time, or even on a subchannel or something to that effect. They could use the same studio and just go to the South Jersey studio if necessary. WFMZ has a studio in Reading but I'm pretty sure it's just a room with a plasma TV and a camera.

 

Also, channel 6 refers to Walter Perez as their Lehigh Valley Correspondent, but there certainly are not stories from the LV every day.

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There's a lot of people here suggesting that they'd somehow partner up with a Philly station or capitalize on their -LP signal...while it's lovely to think about, it's just not going to happen. South Jersey is not Philly, Philly is not South Jersey. But, hey, it'd be cool though!

 

 

I live on the other end of the Philly DMA, in the Lehigh Valley. While I prefer 3,6,&10, I will tell you that 95% of the people here locally (we are 50 mins away from Philly) prefer WFMZ 69 for their news, who is not affiliated with any of the Big 4 (or 6) for that matter. They do not care what is going on in Philly or what the weather forecast for Philly is. They don't care about the graphics or news set. The Philly stations will cover one Lehigh Valley story if we're lucky. They don't even have Lehigh Valley designated reporters/correspondents anymore.

 

That's pretty much the case here. They love their Dan Skeldon and they love their Michelle Dawn Mooney. You all would be shocked what the people at that station can do with what little they have (and make!).

 

It's local television in it's truest sense... take a look at what the average viewer at home has to say about the news: https://www.facebook.com/PressofAC/posts/10152107691193214?stream_ref=10

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I have Directv and get NBC 40. Just watched an entire news segment, about 3 minutes, with nary an onscreen graphic.

 

The picture was strange. Not 16:9, but also not 4:3. But the quality was terrible.

If it wasn't 16:9 or 4:3 it may likely be 14:9 which is considered as an intermediate frame size, a way you can compare is if you get BBC America in HD their BBC World News simulcasts air in 14:9. The picture format never took off here in the states and was mainly used in the UK as an intermediary format for production prior to their digital conversion (while 16:9 was the format in use since the mid 90s here in the US for digital TV, the UK didn't start their sign on their digital signals until sometime between 2004-2009).

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It's really a shame to see it go but it really is a VERY CHEAP looking channel.

 

1) The newscasts are suppose to be HD but do not fill up the whole screen.

2) Their weather graphics could be made better with Power Point.

3) The graphics package used during the newscast is just cheap looking.

 

It is clearly a local news network that does not have a lot of money to work with. They should just have WCAU (NBC10) in Philly and that's it.

 

I've been experimenting with a lot of different designs lately for my weather graphics. Here's an example of the 7 day forecast (It's actually accurate so plan accordingly!) Let me know what you think. State your honest opinion.

7-day-forecast-for-blog-4-19-14.png?w=461

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I've been experimenting with a lot of different designs lately for my weather graphics. Here's an example of the 7 day forecast (It's actually accurate so plan accordingly!) Let me know what you think. State your honest opinion.

7-day-forecast-for-blog-4-19-14.png?w=461

 

The 7 day is for NYC BTW.
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I've been experimenting with a lot of different designs lately for my weather graphics. Here's an example of the 7 day forecast (It's actually accurate so plan accordingly!) Let me know what you think. State your honest opinion.

7-day-forecast-for-blog-4-19-14.png?w=461

The numbers at opposite ends is a nice idea but it takes too long to read, I'm afraid they probably need to be stacked together, one above the other. I'm thinking of how long (or not long) the meteorologist will keep it on screen, scanning top to bottom 7 times needs to be as quick as possible. Other than that it looks pretty good and would work great on a website as a static (like on a station website) I suppose we could call these web optimized?
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I've been experimenting with a lot of different designs lately for my weather graphics. Here's an example of the 7 day forecast (It's actually accurate so plan accordingly!) Let me know what you think. State your honest opinion.

7-day-forecast-for-blog-4-19-14.png?w=461

 

Sorry, maybe I missed it, but what does this have to do with WMGM losing its NBC affiliation?

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I've been experimenting with a lot of different designs lately for my weather graphics. Here's an example of the 7 day forecast (It's actually accurate so plan accordingly!) Let me know what you think. State your honest opinion.

7-day-forecast-for-blog-4-19-14.png?w=461

 

WTF are you smoking?
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Sorry for the delayed response to these posts. I had to take a short hiatus as I wanted to repeatedly impact my head with a wall after reading some of the threads/posts on the TVNT board lately.

 

It would be nice, but do you think they are going to offer jobs to displaced WMGM staffers? Doubt it.

 

And would WMGM-LP still live on after the incentive auction? Sorry but this seems like a boneheaded move on the part of Access.1 (who still runs the station and owns WMGM-LP, LocusPoint only holds the full-power license). Can't believe you are wanting to rid South Jersey of their lifeline during severe weather...

Not sure if "you" refers to Access.1 or myself. If you are referring to me then you are misunderstanding me.

 

They both do. lol

 

 

Umm WCAU has three bureaus in Jersey. One in Trenton for Central NJ, South Jersey, and one for the Jersey Shore. The latter being a joint agreement between WCAU and WMGM. Like I mentioned above WNBC and WCAU both cover Ocean County and will share stories/reporters pertaining to the area when needed. With all that I think all three stations have the state covered for NBC

I don't know about WNBC, but WCAU covers the Garden State better than any other station. You'll have Cydney Long pop up for something in the Jersey suburbs, Greenberg has his Jersey Shore Bureau beat, Na'eem Douglas is/was on the Trenton beat, and they'll often have Howard Thompson report something from Ocean County. Jersey gets quite a bit of coverage on their newscasts, more than I can see on WPVI.

 

I do agree - when WMGM gets out of the news business a big hole will be left there. Following the elimination of NJN, there's really no dedicated television station that's doing news in house. (You can make an argument for Chasing New Jersey, but that's being produced by the WTXF general manager's production company.) There is a huge hole, and a market could be created out of it. If it were feasible, perhaps the NY/PHL stations could do something in that overlap area...

I know they (WCAU/WNBC) cover New Jersey. What I was getting at was create they need to create a real physical presence in the state. Actually due more than then just requisite minimum of NJ news due to the state being in your coverage area(s). Basically, plant a big ass flag in NJ and set out to own the market and crush your competitors (ABC/CBS/FOX O&O's) that choose to ignore it.

 

 

Barely. It's a tragically underserved area. More than half a million people there...Toms River alone has more than twice the population of Atlantic City. It's this weird black hole that either of the three want to touch for whatever reason. There's a lot more news that goes on there that should be reported.

There's a lot of people here suggesting that they'd somehow partner up with a Philly station or capitalize on their -LP signal...while it's lovely to think about, it's just not going to happen. South Jersey is not Philly, Philly is not South Jersey. But, hey, it'd be cool though!

 

That's pretty much the case here. They love their Dan Skeldon and they love their Michelle Dawn Mooney. You all would be shocked what the people at that station can do with what little they have (and make!).

 

It's local television in it's truest sense... take a look at what the average viewer at home has to say about the news: https://www.facebook.com/PressofAC/posts/10152107691193214?stream_ref=10

I'm going to assume some of this is directed at me. By no means am I suggesting WMGM partner up or leave the air so a Philly station can come in and cover the area. I want to see WMGM as a going concern although that seems like a bit of an uphill battle at this point. The LP was exempted from the sale. So, I'm hopeful that some form of WMGM will remain post auction.

 

I agree wholeheartedly that NJ is vastly neglected. If that state was just about anywhere else in the country it would have it's own tv market(s) instead of simply being apart of a larger neighboring one(s) by virtue of geography. It's a relatively unique situation with NJ and the current solution the big NYC/PHL stations seem to employ is to mostly ignore it. Why they just forego a massive chunk of viewers boggles my mind. If any of them stepped up to the plate and actually cover NJ they could add viewers that have for years been neglected. And, by no means do I want to see any such effort simply replace current NJ-centric efforts like WMGM. They can more than co-exist within the NJ marketplace as you & I both agree that area is vastly underserved.

 

The reason I suggested WCAU (&WNBC) doing that was for a couple reasons. First, NBCU has made a signifigant commitment to the O&O's under Comcast ownership. And, NBCU/Comcast are likely to incur some negative PR as a result of WMGM losing it's affiliation. That becomes even more so if WMGM can't make a go of it after the auction as an LP. How many people in the general population realize that the incentive auction is mostly to blame? They are more likely to point the finger at Comcast. Some of the Facebook comments you linked to illustrate some people already feel this way. And, just look at that B&C article it reads almost like a hit piece. I get the impression the former GM e-mailed/wrote Tom Wheeler and cc'd some in the media hoping they'd bite. B&C did and the article coupled with his quotes imply that WMGM will likely meet it's demise because Comcast pulled the plug on the affiliation. The Press of Atlantic City article that was the basis for the Facebook comments was a little better but, still made the same implications. At best (or, worst) it was a mutual decision between WMGM & NBC not to renew. So, NBCU/Comcast could negate some of that bad press (or, gain some good press) by increasing their presence in NJ.

 

 

I think it was mentioned earlier NBCUniversal could easily setup a semi satellite station to WCAU much like Hearst operating WNNE as a semi satellite to WPTZ. They could set up a low power digital station with a New Jersey bureau with some anchors and live reports that will only be see on the low power digital station. One way they could do it is make one of the blocks different between the two transmitters, where there are two A Blocks one for Philadelphia and the other for NJ, then the stations would go to commercial show the same B block, then weather where the Philadelphia area would get a live report but NJ would be pre taped, and finally the sports would be the same for both unless there was some sort of regional interest and one could be pretaped.

Maybe WCAU could do something like WFMZ's Berks Edition, air a South Jersey edition at a different time, or even on a subchannel or something to that effect. They could use the same studio and just go to the South Jersey studio if necessary. WFMZ has a studio in Reading but I'm pretty sure it's just a room with a plasma TV and a camera.

I left out the "how" from my theory. At bare minimum I'd expect a stepped up digital presence with more reports/video from NJ along with more of those making the air. However, to really make such an effort work they would really need a separate NJ newscast. I was thinking along the same lines as both of you. The quickest way and what was imagining was second parallel newscast airing on the Cozi TV subchannel(s) at the same time the main WCAU (&WNBC) newscasts. Basically, either the A or B blocks would unique to each each regions newscast along with the weather. But, There are several ways to accomplish such an effort as the above posts outline.
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ulgh you guys

 

 

Yeah, man, you're right. 60 people should totally lose their jobs because the weather graphics look cheap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You realize almost all of the South Jersey stuff you see on 10 comes from 40?

 

 

 

 

No, they don't. Who covers Ocean County? Trick question. ;)

spot on, I think WCAU has Ocean County covered
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At home in Berks Co, it's nice to have WFMZ in a weather emergency and to hear the top stories in the area. The Philly stations rarely carry in depth or any stories from the area, save for murder in Reading or along the Schuylkill River Trail. Before this last Winter, I wouldn't find closings of schools or services in Berks along the bottoms of the screen on the Philly stations.

 

Before this past Winter, it was difficult to judge the road conditions by the Philly tv and radio stations (and KYW 1060 traffic is usually wrong.) I've relied on WFMZ for my local stories and I'd be unhappy if I lost the Berks County addition. I can understand how the people of eastern Atlantic, southern Ocean, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties may feel if they are loosing their local news station.

 

When I visit family, I would turn to WMGM to hear about stories in the Hammonton area. I would see the local school teams and hear about local road conditions that you won't get on the big 4 news stations. Once a service provided by Jones Intercable, Comcast took over and cut all local news, sports and interviews.

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Bringing this subject back up, WCAU has broken in to cover a major brush fire in the Toms River area. They have SkyForce 10 over the scene. WNBC is running what appears to be raw video from SkyForce on their site as well. Impressive when you consider Toms River is indeed on the periphery.

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Do you think this has anything to do with the announcement of Reheboth Beach getting its own NBC affiliate?

I'm guessing not since I believe Rehobeth Beach is part of the Salisbury, MD DMA, and that market had everything but an NBC affiliate, which was piped in from Baltimore.

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I'm guessing not since I believe Rehobeth Beach is part of the Salisbury, MD DMA, and that market had everything but an NBC affiliate, which was piped in from Baltimore.

Rehoboth actually carried Philadelphia and Baltimore depending on the carrier and the distance I doubt the LP signal could reach Atlantic City.
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Rehoboth actually carried Philadelphia and Baltimore depending on the carrier and the distance I doubt the LP signal could reach Atlantic City.

Right, which was my point. Rehobeth is served by the Salisbury market (primarily), and by Philly/Baltimore (secondary). By picking up the NBC affiliation, it is filling the void of a primary NBC affiliate for the Delmarva area. I was making the point that that has nothing to do with AC.

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