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Gray/Raycom Merger Thread


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I have this naïve hope that Gray would unshackle the Raycom stations from a graphical standard/the apparent Stephen Arnold contract and let them do whatever...

Gray's been slowly putting a semi-standardized look on some of their stations - for KALB and WOWT, it's a massive upgrade over what they had prior.

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You have clearly never lived in Wisconsin. It's the dead of winter right now. Golf courses won't be open for several more weeks and have been closed for months. If you are a golfer, and can afford to

Tribune/Sinclair = 2 years and nothing. Gray/Raycom = 6 months and closed in full. That's what happens when you play by the rules. Gray did it right. Sinclair did it wrong. Its so obvious as to

Moral of this story: DON’T LIE TO THE FEDS. Your acquisition will be a lot easier.

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As soon as Bill Applegate retired, "19 Action News" and their infamous tabloid pressroom presentation was on death's door.

 

That being said, "Cleveland 19 News" is still the stupidest name for a newscast this market has ever seen, and I witnessed "ei8ht IS NEWS" first-hand.

 

Why don't they just call it News 19 or CBS 19 News and call it a day? Hell News 19 is still working for WLTX.

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Gray's been slowly putting a semi-standardized look on some of their stations - for KALB and WOWT, it's a massive upgrade over what they had prior.

 

Unfortunately that's not a standardized look but one of many syndicated packages that Gray's in-house design team offers. I know because I used to work for a Gray station who was considering this look. This package is notable for being their first 16:9 ready (no safe zone) package, but is one of their oldest packages they still offer. The new KWCH pack and the packages that WJHG and WECP just got are some of their more-recent offerings.

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Why don't they just call it News 19 or CBS 19 News and call it a day? Hell News 19 is still working for WLTX.

Prior to the Action News era, WOIO cycled through multiple names for their newscasts... 19 News, CBS 19 News, HomeTeam 19 News/HomeTeam 43 News, and back to 19 News/43 News.

 

Cleveland newscasts have rather lousy names: Channel 3 News**, News 5, Fox 8 News, and Cleveland 19. Why not 19 News or News 19? Lol.

 

** ...which actually originated as a naming standard by WKYC's then-owner NBC, excluding WNBC-TV, of course.

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I also prefer 19 News, CBS 19 News and CBS 19 Eyewitness News. (News 19 would be awkward considering there's News 5 - lol)

 

I would like to see the "Cleveland 19" and "CLE 43" brandings gone. Worst branding for them since "Hometeam 19/43."

 

Plus, when 19 Action News became Cleveland 19 News, they still kept a lot of the people from the Bill Applegate years in place (though slowly, a lot of them have left since the recent change) unlike 2002. That was a mistake, making it seem like a botched relaunch.

 

It will be interesting to see what happens on-air and behind the scenes in Cleveland when Gray takes over WOIO/WUAB.

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As soon as Bill Applegate retired, "19 Action News" and their infamous tabloid pressroom presentation was on death's door.

 

That being said, "Cleveland 19 News" is still the stupidest name for a newscast this market has ever seen, and I witnessed "ei8ht IS NEWS" first-hand.

 

Yet, Ei8ht is News got higher ratings than 19 News. Plus, WJW was branded outside of news as FOX is Ei8ht on-screen, but was identified as "Channel 8," despite going years and years on-air as "TV8." They should have just continued to say TV8 or just use the "ei8ht" logo without "FOX is" tacked on to it. That came after Brad Lowe (or Rowe) replaced Virgil Dominic, who wanted to keep the newscasts as traditional, but it no longer worked after the switch to FOX. Once the new GM came in, out went "Newscenter 8."

 

(What about Newscenter 19?)

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Unfortunately that's not a standardized look but one of many syndicated packages that Gray's in-house design team offers. I know because I used to work for a Gray station who was considering this look. This package is notable for being their first 16:9 ready (no safe zone) package, but is one of their oldest packages they still offer. The new KWCH pack and the packages that WJHG and WECP just got are some of their more-recent offerings.

 

Are these on Vimeo or something? I might have seen their work...

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I also prefer 19 News, CBS 19 News and CBS 19 Eyewitness News. (News 19 would be awkward considering there's News 5 - lol)

 

I would like to see the "Cleveland 19" and "CLE 43" brandings gone. Worst branding for them since "Hometeam 19/43."

 

Honestly, just call 43 "19 Plus" at this point. The decline of that station into the market's reject/infomercial pipe has watered it down to Sinclair-esque levels of neglect for a bad MyNet station. I'm surprised they didn't cash out and kill it entirely in the spectrum auction.

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I also prefer 19 News, CBS 19 News and CBS 19 Eyewitness News. (News 19 would be awkward considering there's News 5 - lol)

 

I would like to see the "Cleveland 19" and "CLE 43" brandings gone. Worst branding for them since "Hometeam 19/43."

 

Plus, when 19 Action News became Cleveland 19 News, they still kept a lot of the people from the Bill Applegate years in place (though slowly, a lot of them have left since the recent change) unlike 2002. That was a mistake, making it seem like a botched relaunch.

 

It will be interesting to see what happens on-air and behind the scenes in Cleveland when Gray takes over WOIO/WUAB.

 

It's not as awkward as you may think, here in Nashville we have a News 2 and News 4.

 

Are these on Vimeo or something? I might have seen their work...

 

Heath Miller, the head designer, used to post his work to Vimeo a long time ago I believe but any trace of his work on the internet is long gone. Gray now tends to keep previews of their graphics hub packages and new offerings behind the company's "Gray Connect" portal. Since I no longer work for Gray, I lost all access to this.

 

You may find a couple designers of Gray Graphics Hub on YouTube and some of their designs/mockups but your mileage may vary.

 

For instance, here's something called the WNDU Ice Package from 2013 and a designer named Greg Miller (not sure if he's related to Heath) that I don't think ever made it to air, or at least I don't remember WNDU ever using it.

 

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I like 19 News or CBS 19 News better. Matter of fact, how would feel if WOIO went with CBS 19 Eyewitness News?

Or WOIO 19 Eyewitness News... Sorry, but if "KWCH 12 Eyewitness News" sound weird then "WOIO 19 Eyewitness News" will sound even weirder than that

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Why don't they just call it News 19 or CBS 19 News and call it a day? Hell News 19 is still working for WLTX.

 

Could it be that 19 seems like a "dirty" number in Cleveland, where their three competitors are all traditionally on VHF? In Columbia, only WIS (10) was on VHF before the digital transition.

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Follow up to my previous post, here are a few extra goodies I found on YouTube.

 

Here's an unused/scrapped syndicated package called "Space Station"

 

 

A mock-up, never used news open for WITN:

 

 

And at least two packages under their MomsEveryday account, the first one is called Hippodrome and the second one is called 41 Degrees. Some of you may recognize stations that use either one:

 

 

 

These are the only two montages of existing syndicated packages still in use that I know of that are readily accessible on the interwebs.

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Despite the scale of the acquisition, it seems there is very little opposition to this deal. A complete 180 from the Sinclair-Tribune deal, where opposition was swift, fierce and very broad. Even though this involves over 140 stations in itself.

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Despite the scale of the acquisition, it seems there is very little opposition to this deal. A complete 180 from the Sinclair-Tribune deal, where opposition was swift, fierce and very broad. Even though this involves over 140 stations in itself.

 

But see there's a huge difference here, this is a merger of two equally good medium-sized companies into one large company. The Sinclair-Tribune deal is almost like a hostile takeover of a dying company by a power-hungry, ruthless, right-winged propaganda machine.

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As soon as Bill Applegate retired, "19 Action News" and their infamous tabloid pressroom presentation was on death's door.

 

That being said, "Cleveland 19 News" is still the stupidest name for a newscast this market has ever seen, and I witnessed "ei8ht IS NEWS" first-hand.

 

That was a New World thing

WJW, WAGA & WITI has that Channel # is News.

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I also prefer 19 News, CBS 19 News and CBS 19 Eyewitness News. (News 19 would be awkward considering there's News 5 - lol)

 

I would like to see the "Cleveland 19" and "CLE 43" brandings gone. Worst branding for them since "Hometeam 19/43."

 

Plus, when 19 Action News became Cleveland 19 News, they still kept a lot of the people from the Bill Applegate years in place (though slowly, a lot of them have left since the recent change) unlike 2002. That was a mistake, making it seem like a botched relaunch.

 

It will be interesting to see what happens on-air and behind the scenes in Cleveland when Gray takes over WOIO/WUAB.

 

I will say that when Applegate came in and called it 19 Action News the ratings went up. They were able to beat well established WKYC & WEWS at 11pm. Romona Robinson said that when she left WKYC to go over to WOIO. 19's goal was to have a more cleaner approach in their newscast. 19 was being criticize for doing a reinactment of a court case where no cameras were allowed in the courtroom. They use puppets as a reinactment. It was laughable, and they had the impression of the tabloid and in your face with 19 Action News, but it moved the needle.

 

Cleveland 19 News seems more clean, less in your face. Your family friendly station. I will say their logo Trumps WEWS el-cheapo logo. Cleveland 19 News is not bad, but it once was CBS19 News.

Yet, Ei8ht is News got higher ratings than 19 News. Plus, WJW was branded outside of news as FOX is Ei8ht on-screen, but was identified as "Channel 8," despite going years and years on-air as "TV8." They should have just continued to say TV8 or just use the "ei8ht" logo without "FOX is" tacked on to it. That came after Brad Lowe (or Rowe) replaced Virgil Dominic, who wanted to keep the newscasts as traditional, but it no longer worked after the switch to FOX. Once the new GM came in, out went "Newscenter 8."

 

(What about Newscenter 19?)

WJW, WAGA, WJBK, WITI, WTVT, maybe KSAZ (not sure about the two Texas stations KDFW & KTBC) but they all kept their branding from their CBS days into FOX. WAGA dumped Eyewitness News in 1997 when FOX took over. In 1996, WJBK were going by FOX 2 NEWS but Eyewintess News name still appeared on screen. WJW were still going by NewsCenter 8, but I think they still were going by NewsCenter 8 even the first year as FOX. Once FOX took over ownership it was solidfiy to have the FOX name instered.

 

As for Gray it does seem to be moving up, and thought personally it wasn't a bad company, but they did do some major improvments to WVLT in Knoxville. Also is WVLT beating WATE or have they tied? Getting Cleveland, Charlotte, New Orleans markets are big. Raycom has some branded website content. Gray HQ is located in Atlanta while Raycom HQ in Montgomery. I assume everything moving to Atlanta. I hope management do alot of good, and Gray can be everything Nexstar and Sinclair insn't.

 

I do question on Gray not getting WTOL over WTVG. WTVG has made strides and did beat WTOL in some ratings periods, but WTOL is a great catch. I see WTOL being owned by Meredith. It would behoove Meredith to try to make a play, and this would be a good one for them. Not sure if there any conflict, and seem to be the little engine thay can't or won't. It time for Meredith to play ball.

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But see there's a huge difference here, this is a merger of two equally good medium-sized companies into one large company. The Sinclair-Tribune deal is almost like a hostile takeover of a dying company by a power-hungry, ruthless, right-winged propaganda machine.

 

Not to mention that Gray is actually cooperating with regulators whereas Sinclair keeps having temper tantrums and acting entitled like they have been through out the whole process.

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It should be noted that Gray will also inherit KEYU-FM in Amarillo and KTXC in Midland. These stations were part of Raycom's acquisition of Drewry Communications (the stations' former owners) 3 years ago, It is not yet known what Gray plans to do with those radio stations, since Gray themselves never owned any radio stations in its history prior to the Raycom deal.

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It should be noted that Gray will also inherit KEYU-FM in Amarillo and KTXC in Midland. These stations were part of Raycom's acquisition of Drewry Communications (the stations' former owners) 3 years ago, It is not yet known what Gray plans to do with those radio stations, since Gray themselves never owned any radio stations in its history prior to the Raycom deal.

 

They did so briefly when it acquired Schurz but quickly sold them off. Same thing will happen here where KEYU-FM and KTXC will be sold.

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Not to mention that Gray is actually cooperating with regulators whereas Sinclair keeps having temper tantrums and acting entitled like they have been through out the whole process.

 

They probably decided immediately to sell off the conflicts before any further movements were done. I wouldn't be surprised if we get buyers for them quite soon.

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I think this was already asked, but nontheless,I will ask..should the GRAY/RAYCOM marriage be blessed by all concerned parties, what will happen to the following : HAWAII NEWS NOW, TOLEDO NEWS NOW,and the WSWG/WCTV partnership?

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I think this was already asked, but nontheless,I will ask..should the GRAY/RAYCOM marriage be blessed by all concerned parties, what will happen to the following : HAWAII NEWS NOW, TOLEDO NEWS NOW,and the WSWG/WCTV partnership?

 

Hawaii News NOW would more likely remain but with one of the stations getting out, Toledo News NOW remaining as WTOL/WUPW will still be combined but under new owners and the WCTV/WSWG partnership will be broken with WSWG being on its own since Gray is reuniting itself with WALB and dumping WSWG. Unless WSWG adds its own local news with its new owner, it will be a CBS affiliate with no news like Sinclair's WTWC Tally.

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