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‘No One in the Newsroom is Happy’ as Boston Station Prepares for New Owners

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The deal’s not done, but nerves are on edge at Fox 25 in Boston. “No one in the newsroom is 
happy,” the Boston Herald quotes an unnamed source inside the station. “No one here knows what’s happening.”

Fox is set to swap WFXT to Cox Media Group in exchange for Cox’s San Francisco station–and current Fox affiliate–KTVU. The companies will keep their general managers, sending KTVU’s Tom Raponi to Boston, while WFXT’s Gregg Kelley heads to San Francisco. The Herald reports staffers in Boston fear they may also inherit KTVU’s news director:

Raponi’s current news director in San Francisco is Lee Rosenthal, and a Left Coast blog reported that he has put his Bay-area house on the market — possibly signaling a move east. But Raponi told us yesterday that it’s too early to speculate about personnel moves.

“We have not even closed on the deal,” Raponi said. “It would be premature to make any personnel decisions, but as soon as we have something, we will announce it.”

Rosenthal’s possible move to Boston is causing some consternation in Fox 25’s Dedham newsroom. He was at the helm during his station’s most embarrassing moment: the unintentional airing of an insensitive joke about the identities of the pilots flying the Asiana Airlines jet that crash-landed at San Francisco Airport last year. Three veteran producers were fired and a fourth left for “health reasons” after a news anchor reported fake names of the Asiana pilots.

The change in ownership — expected to happen around Oct. 1 — also has some concerned about the future of some of Fox 25’s on-air talent. KTVU has seen an exodus of veteran reporters and anchor talent, prompting some locals to wonder if the same will happen here.

(Disclosure: I previously worked for Cox-owned WFTV in Orlando)

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