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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

Cox Media Picks General Manager and News Director for Tulsa Stations

Cox Media Group has named Greg Bilte as general manager and Suzanne Nadell as news director for its Tulsa FOX affiliate KOKI and MyNetworkTV station KMYT.

“We are thrilled that we can tap such phenomenal internal talent for these important leadership positions at our newest TV brands,” said CMG’s executive vice president of broadcast Bill Hoffman.  “Greg and Suzanne will play pivotal roles in leading the professionals at KOKI-TV and KMYT-TV to continue informing, inspiring, entertaining and improving the Tulsa community.”

Bilte comes from CMG’s San Francisco Bay Area station KTVU where he was the director of sales for KTVU, KICU and KTVU.com. He has also worked at KXLY in Spokane, WA, TeleRep and KTTV in Los Angeles. Read more

Terry Gaughan Returns as General Manager for WCGV-WVTV

Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Terry Gaughan general manager of Milwaukee CW and MyTV affiliates WCGV-WVTV.

“We are excited to have Terry re-join the Company,” said Steve Marks, chief operating officer of Sinclair Television Group. “He is familiar with the stations, having served as their General Manager years ago. We believe his knowledge of the Milwaukee community can only help to advance meeting their needs.”

Gaughan worked at Sinclair in various roles from 1992 to 1998 including general manager of WVTV and WCGV. He was most recently vice president of national sales at Univision.

“I am delighted to be back in Milwaukee and at WCGV and WVTV,” said Gaughan in a statement. “I believe that there is much the stations have to offer the local community, and I look forward to working with the staff to achieve that goal.”

[Milwaukee Business Journal]

WPWR Teams Up with Chicago Fire

WPWR, the Fox-owned MyNetworkTV affiliate in Chicago, will be the official television broadcast partner of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club for the 2013 season.

“The Fire is coming off a successful 2012 season and we are looking forward to providing our viewers all the live action throughout the coming season. Partnering with the Fire is just another example of My50’s commitment to bringing appointment local programming to Chicago area viewers,” WPWR-WFLD general manager Dennis Welsh said in a statement.

The Fire will televise up to 23 matches live on the station this season. Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan will provide the play-by-play analysis for the broadcasts.

WNYT Buying MyNetworkTV Affiliate WNYA

WNYT has announced a deal to buy the Albany, NY, MyNetworkTV station WNYA.

“We are pleased to be adding WNYA’s programming to the services we currently provide in New York State’s Capital Region,” said WNYT vice president and general manager Steve Baboulis. “We will work hard to enhance the good work WNYA has done in our market, and we look forward to this exciting opportunity.”

The Albany NBC Affiliate, which is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, is purchasing WNYA from Venture Technologies Group. As part of the transaction, WNYT has agreed to provide sales services to WNYA.

The sale is pending FCC agreement.

[Broadcasting & Cable]

Dish Network Pulls Plug on Grant Stations Over Retrans Deal

Dish Network subscribers won’t be able watch their favorite shows on stations owned by Grant Communications until the two settle their dispute over retransmission fees.

On Saturday February 16, Grant’s four FOX affiliates, WZDX in Huntsville, AL, WFXR, Roanoke,VA, KLJB in Quad Cities and WLAX-WEUX in La Crosse, WI, as well as two CW stations and one MyNetworkTV station went dark as part of the dispute.

WZDX, the FOX affiliate in Huntsville posted a statement about the dispute on its website saying,

Contrary to what you may have been told or read, FOX 54 has asked Dish to pay rates comparable to those being paid by your local cable systems now. That is fair and equitable, as already determined by the marketplace. We understand the public’s frustration with this situation, and we remain committed to reaching a solution with Dish without disrupting FOX 54′s programming. Read more

KFSN to Launch 10 p.m. Newscast on KAIL

KFSN, the ABC O&O in Fresno, has announced plans to produce a 10 p.m. newscast for MyNetworkTV-affiliate KAIL.

The newscast, which debuts Monday, will be anchored by KFSN evening anchors Liz Harrison and Warren Armstrong. They will be joined by meteorologist Kevin Musso and sports director Tommy Tran.

“We … see it as a great opportunity for us to further our commitment to the community, the Central Valley — to continue to provide news and information to them, in the ABC30 brand, whenever and where ever they want it,” KFSN general manager Dan Adams said in a statement.

“You’re going to bring people, viewers, to our station that we haven’t had before,” KAIL program director Bob Jenkins said. “People who are looking for news at a convenient time, and not just any news, but probably the best produced news in the Valley.”

Russ Bowen Joining Seattle’s KOMO

Russ Bowen has announced he is joining Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO as weekend co-anchor.

Bowen announced the news on his facebook page saying,

I’m so excited to finally be able to share some exciting news! I’m heading to Seattle. I’ll be the new weekend co-anchor for KOMO-TV. My last day at WLOS is Feb 8th and I leave for Seattle Feb 10th! I can’t thank you all enough for being such wonderful friends and viewers. Western North Carolina and everyone who lives here will always have a special place in my heart….

Bowen co-anchors the 10 pm. news for MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYA and reports daily for WLOS, the ABC affiliate for Asheville, NC.  He started working at the station in 2000 as bureau chief of the Western Carolina News Center. Before coming to WLOS, Bowen worked for WCTI in New Bern, NC.

[ashvegas.com]

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