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Sinclair Broadcast Group - General Discussion


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1 hour ago, CoopInTheHouse said:

REBRAND ALERT!

 

WCTI in New Bern, North Carolina, as of today, has rebranded as News 12 Now, replacing News Channel 12. With the logo comes the current ABC logo, which WCTI had not updated their logo with up to this point.

Here's a screenshot

Screenshot 2023-11-02 235006.png

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Well, this is big... and something you'd expect from Sinclair in small markets, but now it's coming to the middle markets too.

 

Sinclair is consolidating KTUL news production with KOKH in Oklahoma City. Sounds like a few on-air folks have already been let go, but the axe will likely continue to swing as KTUL's Tulsa facility basically becomes a newsroom only with broadcasts originating from OKC beginning December 11.

 

From the Tulsa World article:

Quote

"Beginning December 11 we will be making changes to the way we produce news in Tulsa and refocusing our resources, establishing a regional content center to super serve the Tulsa and Oklahoma City television markets," KTUL said in a statement. "This will allow hyperlocal news and weather content from both markets, as well as regional content, to be included in every newscast."

 

The statement went on: "News airing on KTUL will now be produced out of our Oklahoma City content center, and will include live, local content with local reporters from Tulsa, paired with the resources of our content center at KOKH/KOCB.

 

I can't find anything about this on the KTUL site, so it sounds like it's being kept sortof quiet. Given the fast developments, I'm guessing the KTUL and KOKH shows will become something like "Oklahoma News Now" statewide shows, and not truly local to either market. 

 

What a shame, and a sad end for one of the foundational TV and journalism brands in the state. 

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47 minutes ago, caliwxdude said:

Well, this is big... and something you'd expect from Sinclair in small markets, but now it's coming to the middle markets too.

 

Sinclair is consolidating KTUL news production with KOKH in Oklahoma City. Sounds like a few on-air folks have already been let go, but the axe will likely continue to swing as KTUL's Tulsa facility basically becomes a newsroom only with broadcasts originating from OKC beginning December 11.

 

From the Tulsa World article:

 

I can't find anything about this on the KTUL site, so it sounds like it's being kept sortof quiet. Given the fast developments, I'm guessing the KTUL and KOKH shows will become something like "Oklahoma News Now" statewide shows, and not truly local to either market. 

 

What a shame, and a sad end for one of the foundational TV and journalism brands in the state. 

 

That's just awful to hear too, especially in fairly large markets. I wonder what kind of openings exist in the other stations in each market?

 

I know Gray was very aggressive to pick up those laid off elsewhere, but Gray does not have a station in either OKC or Tulsa.

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33 minutes ago, TheRob said:

One of my managers is a former Sinclair ND. It's all anyone could talk about today. Tulsa is not a small market and KTUL, I think, was in second place.

This basically further buttresses the theory that the company’s debt (exacerbated by Sinclair’s mismanagement of Diamond Sports into bankruptcy) is having an effect on the bottom line enough that it’s choosing not only to cut back on news operations at lower-rated stations in sub-65 markets, but now cut those in (somewhat) larger markets where their newscasts perform well.

 

It would have been easier for Sinclair to sell off stations to help pay off its debt (setting aside their plans to expand into other non-broadcast businesses until things get stable with their media arms), but their unwillingness to do so means employees at the affected stations suffer the consequences.

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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20 minutes ago, GoldenShine9 said:

Yet, in Tulsa (and OKC), not only can the competition still do well, but there is still a locally-owned independent in each market (KOTV and KWTV, both of which I believe lead their markets). This looks like a Sinclair-specific problem.

But it is partially indicative on the state of local TV imo. Scripps is cost-cutting too, and Nexstar pays their employees horribly enough already. Granted, neither of those companies are doing anything as drastic as Sinclair, but I worry that this won’t be a Sinclair-only problem in the future.

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2 hours ago, T.L. Hughes said:

This basically further buttresses the theory that the company’s debt (exacerbated by Sinclair’s mismanagement of Diamond Sports into bankruptcy) is having an effect on the bottom line enough that it’s choosing not only to cut back on news operations at lower-rated stations in sub-65 markets, but now cut those in (somewhat) larger markets where their newscasts perform well.

 

It would have been easier for Sinclair to sell off stations to help pay off its debt (setting aside their plans to expand into other non-broadcast businesses until things get stable with their media arms), but their unwillingness to do so means employees at the affected stations suffer the consequences.

 

If that's the case, a large part of it goes back to their behavior with the FCC in the 2010s. The main reason they overpaid for Diamond Sports was because they desperately wanted to expand, and they were being blocked from acquiring new TV stations due to their lack of candor and deceptive tactics with the FCC, culminating with the failed Tribune deal when they were already on thin ice. As a result, they blew $10B on something that has since collapsed.

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4 hours ago, T.L. Hughes said:

This basically further buttresses the theory that the company’s debt (exacerbated by Sinclair’s mismanagement of Diamond Sports into bankruptcy) is having an effect on the bottom line enough that it’s choosing not only to cut back on news operations at lower-rated stations in sub-65 markets, but now cut those in (somewhat) larger markets where their newscasts perform well.

 

It would have been easier for Sinclair to sell off stations to help pay off its debt (setting aside their plans to expand into other non-broadcast businesses until things get stable with their media arms), but their unwillingness to do so means employees at the affected stations suffer the consequences.

I can tell you KTUL’s newscasts have not performed well for sometime.

 

its not uncommon for their viewers o be in the hundreds. They occasionally perform worse than longtime basement dweller KJRH. 

 

KOTV and KOKI are overwhelmingly dominant in the Tulsa market. 

Edited by MarkBRollins88
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4 hours ago, MarkBRollins88 said:

What I will say is that this was an absolute bloodbath. 30-40 people let go.

 

the only ones being kept are a handful of MMJs and one anchor. Everyone, and I mean everyone else is gone. 

They kept all three meteorologist according to the Chief Meteorologist Chris Nunley.

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An absolutely disgusting move by Sinclair, especially after reassuring their employees that these cuts were "done".

 

I guess they changed their minds after more bad financial news.

 

Basically, if anyone from Sinclair reads this, and your station is poorly ranked, under-invested....GET OUT NOW!!!

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I have an update on the lay offs at KTUL. Joie Bettenhausen told me that they kept a handful of the MMJ’s, 4 production staff, a couple of producers, the entire meteorological staff (her, Colton Williams and Chief Chris Nunley), anchor Brenna Rose, both sports director TJ Eckert and weekend sports anchor and reporter Michelle Montaine and Sales. They only had 15 on air talent we know that KTUL main anchor of 27 years Mark Bradshaw is one of the laid off workers, along with Good Morning Oklahoma anchor Sunny Leigh and Live Desk anchor Tyler Butler and they (at least Sunny and Tyler will not sure about Mark) will all continue to work until the change December 11th.

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Tulsa seems like a scary place for this to be going down especially since Sinclair and Scripps compete there.  Has Scripps done any "Scripps-a-fying" of KJRH?

 

At least they still have a dominant Griffin station that keeps things LOCAL.

 

Another tell-tale sign of the Tulsa market was that KOKI was one of the two "legacy" Cox stations cast off to Imagicomm (along with WHBQ in Memphis).  This was one of the Clear Channel stations purchased by Newport, who instead of dumping them to Sinclair or Nexstar, sold them to Cox at the time.  Cox is still the primary cable company there, right?

Edited by tyrannical bastard
Wrong call letters
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1 hour ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Another tell-tale sign of the Tulsa market was that KOKI was one of the two "legacy" Cox stations cast off to Imagicomm (along with WLMT in Memphis).  This was one of the Clear Channel stations purchased by Newport, who instead of dumping them to Sinclair or Nexstar, sold them to Cox at the time.  Cox is still the primary cable company there, right?

KOKI/KMYT couldn’t be considered “legacy” Cox stations since they were offloaded to the company in 2012, along with WFOX/WJAX (then WAWS/WTEV). Stations like WSB, WSOC and WFTV can be considered legacy stations since Cox has owned them for much longer (KTVU also can be called one, even as it’s now owned by Fox, given Cox owned it for the better part of five decades).

 

It was WHBQ that was sold to Imagicomm along with KOKI/KMYT (and several small-market stations, most of them being former Northwest/Brady stations), and that station was sold to Cox as part of the 2013 swap that gave Fox ownership of KTVU/KICU; WLMT (and WATN, both now owned by Tegna) was sold to Nexstar/Mission as part of the Newport breakup… and Tulsa is still served by Cox Communications (as is Oklahoma City).

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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2 minutes ago, T.L. Hughes said:

KOKI/KMYT couldn’t be considered “legacy” Cox stations since they were offloaded to the company in 2012, along with WFOX/WJAX (then WAWS/WTEV). Stations like WSB, WSOC and WFTV can be considered legacy stations since Cox has owned them for much longer (KTVU also can be called one, even as it’s now owned by Fox, given Cox owned it for the better part of five decades).

 

And it was WHBQ that was sold to Imagicomm along with KOKI/KMYT, and that station was sold to Cox as part of the 2013 swap that gave Fox ownership of KTVU/KICU; WLMT was sold to Nexstar/Mission as part of the Newport breakup and is now part of Tegna.

I guess what I meant to say instead of "legacy" was "pre-Apollo".  Imagiconn basically took all of the former Northwest stations, and the Memphis/Tulsa stations that had existed under the "old" Cox.

 

Don't know where WLMT came from... Fixed my prior post.  Just mixing up Memphis call letters, after all of the crazy transactions in that market over the past decade.

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1 hour ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Tulsa seems like a scary place for this to be going down especially since Sinclair and Scripps compete there.  Has Scripps done any "Scripps-a-fying" of KJRH?

 

The 12:30p half hour of their noon show and their 6:30p newscast are both Scrippscasts.

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1 hour ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Another tell-tale sign of the Tulsa market was that KOKI was one of the two "legacy" Cox stations cast off to Imagicomm (along with WLMT in Memphis).  This was one of the Clear Channel stations purchased by Newport, who instead of dumping them to Sinclair or Nexstar, sold them to Cox at the time.  Cox is still the primary cable company there, right?

WHBQ.

 

Edited by CircleSeven
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This Tulsa setup is clearly a test by a very desperate Sinclair. If they’re willing to torpedo a newsroom in a market that size, the sky’s the limit for them. They’ve obviously done the math and know that, even with lower ratings, they’ll come out ahead due to the cost savings from shedding all those salaries. I could totally see them doing something similar in Austin, for example, where KEYE has been in the cellar forever, moving production an hour south on I-35 to the WOAI/KABB studios in San Antonio. 
 

 

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