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MyNetworkTV

OTA Broadcasting to Buy Two Palm Springs Stations

kmir_kspe_304OTA Broadcasting is buying Palm Springs, CA, stations KMIR and KPSE.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to TVNewscheck, “OTA Broadcasting, backed by billionaire computer retailer Michael Dell, has been buying up independent stations with an eye toward selling the spectrum back to the government in the FCC’s planned incentive auction.”

“From what we understand, Michael is a very forward-looking guy,” Craig Marrs, general manager for the Palm Springs NBC and MyNetworkTV affiliates told MyDesert.com. “The company is made up of people who are interested in the next generation of digital products yet at the same time are excited about acquiring the operation here in Palm Springs.” Read more

Sinclair Adds Eight New Age Stations to Broadcast Group

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcasting has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to buy the broadcast assets of eight stations owned by New Age Media or to which New Age provides services for an aggregate price of $90 million.

Since the eight stations are in three markets: Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, PA, Tallahassee, FL, and Gainesville, FL, Sinclair said it plans to sell the license and “certain related assets” of two stations (WSWB and WTLH) in Wilkes-Barre-Scranton and one (WNBW) in Gainesville, FL, to Cunningham Broadcasting and the license of WTLF in Tallahassee to Deerfield Media. You can see the full list of the stations after the jump.

“We are excited to be adding the New Age stations to our portfolio, growing our presence in Pennsylvania and Florida, and further diversifying our affiliation mix,” David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair said in a statement. “Through each acquisition we continue to capture operating  efficiencies and scale, as well as increase our cash flow for ongoing opportunities.” Read more

Fox Stations Extend MyNetworkTV Through 2016

Fox Television Stations has announced an extension of MyNetworkTV programming through 2016. MyNetworkTV airs on Fox-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Washington D.C., Houston, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Orlando and Charlotte.

“The consistency of MyNetworkTV’s successful brand-name lineup is extremely advertiser friendly. From a sell-point, the MyNetworkTV stations continue to deliver in the key demos of A18-49 and A25-54 and performed quite well last year,” Jim Burke, president of sales at Fox Television Stations, said in a statement.

MyNetworkTV kicks off its 2013-14 season on September 30. The full schedule is in Fox’s official announcement after the jump. Read more

Sheba Turk to Anchor ‘The 504′ on WUPL

Sheba Turk will take over anchor duties on the WUPL interview show “The 504″ starting Monday.

The show, produced by CBS affiliate WWL, debuted in April after WWL announced it was no longer producing a 9:00 p.m. newscast for its sister station, the My NetworkTV affiliate WUPL.

Turk replaces the show’s first host. Melanie Hebert, who announced in July she was leaving the station. Read more

KCOP Cutting News From its Lineup

KCOP, the FOX owned MyNetworkTV affiliate for Los Angeles, has announced plans to eliminate news from its lineup in September.

A FOX spokesperson confirmed, the KCOP 7:00 p.m. news will end on September 20, a little more than a year after it was launched. The 11:00 p.m. news, which debuted in 2002, will end on September 22.

No layoffs are expected from the move, since KCOP is operated as a duopoly with FOX’s KTTV. KTTV produces the KCOP news broadcasts.

FOX was quick to point out KCOP’s sister station KTTV has added 7 hours of local news per week with the launch of its 5:00 p.m. news two years ago. In April 2010, the KTTV morning show was expanded by a half-hour from 4:30 to 5:00 a.m.

The 7:00 p.m. news will be replaced by “The Simpsons” while “The King of Queens” will air at 11:00 p.m.

Station Manager Dianne Doctor Defends ‘Chasing New Jersey’ in WWOR Editorial

WWOR station manager Dianne Doctor is defending the Fox-owned MyNetworkTV affiliate after two New Jersey politicians have called for the FCC to revoke the station’s license.

Earlier this month, WWOR canceled its nightly newscast and replaced it with “Chasing New Jersey,” a freewheeling 30-minute show focused on politics and state issues in New Jersey. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), as well as the Bergen Record,  have called for the station’s FCC license to be revoked.

“You’d think these politicians and the editorial writers of the Record would encourage the development of innovative newsgathering, especially during a financial crisis,” Doctor said in a recent on-air editorial (video above). “Maybe I missed it, but despite these huge newspaper cutbacks [in New Jersey], not one member of the state’s Congressional delegation expressed any concern. Maybe they should take a page from the students and faculty at Montclair State, who have created a facility to rescue journalism and pave a real path for the future. Maybe after watching ‘Chasing New Jersey,’ you’ll see a little glimpse of that future, and wonder why anyone would criticize us for trying something new.”

New Jersey Senator Says News Corp. and WWOR Not Serving State

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D) has added his voice to those calling for the FCC to look into FOX owned MyNetworkTV affiliate WWOR before renewing its license.

In a letter addressed to acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, Menendez wrote, “In light of WWOR’s decision to drop their nightly news programming, a decision which affects millions of New Jerseyans, it is becoming increasingly critical that the FCC make a determination about WWOR’s license and whether they are adequately serving New Jersey as the law and FCC rules stipulate.  From my perspective, News Corporation is not.”

Last week FOX announced it was dropping the station’s lone newscast at 10:00pm and replacing it with “Chasing New Jersey,” a 30-minute show focusing on “issues driving conversations” in the state.

Yesterday, WWOR vice president and general manager Dianne Doctor defended the switch saying, “Based in Trenton, ‘Chasing NJ’ is a news program immersed in all aspects of the state. Politics. People. Issues. It’s enterprise journalism that no one else is doing.” Read more

New Jersey Senate Hopeful Wants FCC to Revoke WWOR’s License

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democratic New Jersey congressman running for Senate, is asking the FCC to revoke the license of WWOR, the state’s only high-powered commercial TV station.

FOX, which owns WWOR, announced last week it was pulling the station’s only newscast and replacing it with “Chasing New Jersey” a 30-minute show focused on “issues driving conversations” in the state.

Pallone voiced his thoughts on twitter by saying, “WWOR’s cancellation of nightly news fails New Jerseyans who want & deserve local news coverage. FCC must take action.”

>UPDATE: WWOR vice president and station manager, Dianne Doctor said in a statement sent to TVSpy, “Based in Trenton, ‘Chasing NJ’ is a news program immersed in all aspects of the state. Politics. People. Issues. It’s enterprise journalism that no one else is doing.”

In a letter to acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, Pallone wrote, “WWOR has failed for over a decade to live up to its broadcasting obligations to New Jersey. In addition, since purchasing WWOR in 2001, News Corporation, now 21st Century Fox, has done everything they can to avoid any commitment to serve as a truly New Jersey station.” Read more

WFTC to Debut Locally Produced Pop Culture and Entertainment Show

WFTC, Fox’s MyNetworkTV affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul, is launching a locally produced entertainment and pop culture show next month. “On The Fly” will air weeknights at 11 p.m. and will re-air at 8 a.m. the following morning.

The show will be hosted by former Minneapolis radio personality Tony Fly (pictured), former radio producer Dan Edwards and KMSP-WFTC traffic reporter Kelsey Soby. The first show is slated for July 22.

“‘On The Fly’ showcases the humor and spontaneity of a radio talk show with the visual impact of television. The ensemble of Tony, Kelsey, and Dan will provide unique commentary on the big talkers of the day,” KMSP-WFTC vice president and general manager Carol Rueppel said in a statement.

WWL Scraps News It Produces for WUPL

New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL has announced, starting Monday, it will no longer produce the 9:00 pm. newscast airing on sister station MyNetworkTV affiliate WUPL. In its place, the station plans to launch a show called “The 504″ an interview show featuring WWL morning anchor Melanie Hebert.

“We’re just excited to try something new and do some longer-form interview segments,” WWL news director Bill Siegel told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I think with the kind of elections we have and the number of elections we have, it will be really valuable to have a lot of different candidates come and talk about issues and try to do some debate-style things that we couldn’t really do during regular newscasts.”

According to the Times-Picayune, the WUPL 9:00 p.m. news was one of the lowest rated newscasts in any time slot during February’s book, averaging a 1.1 rating. One rating point in the New Orleans market equals roughly 6,400 homes. Read more

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