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Posts Tagged ‘Citadel Communications’

Nexstar and Mission to Acquire Five Stations

Nexstar Broadcasting and Mission Broadcasting are acquiring five stations, three from Citadel Communications and two from Stainless Broadcasting, for $103.25 million. The transaction is expected to be approved in the first quarter of 2014.

Citadel Communications will sell WOI in Des Moines, KCAU in Sioux City and WHBF in Rock Island, Ill., to Nexstar for $88 million. Nexstar will begin operating the three stations immediately under a time brokerage agreement, according to Nexstar.

Mission Broadcasting will acquire two stations in Binghamton, N.Y. — Fox affiliate WICZ and MyNetworkTV affiliate WBPN — from Stainless Broadcasting for $15.25 million.

“The acquisition of the Des Moines and Sioux City stations marks Nexstar’s entrée into Iowa, an important state for political advertising activity, while the Rock Island station also reaches Iowa and will benefit from efficiencies related to Nexstar’s existing operations in Illinois where we now operate or provide services to six stations,” Nexstar chairman and CEO Perry A. Sook said in a statement.

With the acquisitions, Nexstar will own, operate or provide services to 96 stations in 51 markets, reaching 14.6 percent of all U.S. television households.

The official announcement from Nexstar is after the jump. Read more

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Citadel Offers Politicians Five Minutes Free Air Time

Citadel Communications will give five minutes of free airtime to political candidates who want to introduce themselves and their campaign platform to voters, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

B&C said the stations allotting the time are WOI in Des Moines, IA, WHBF in Quad Cities,IL-IA, KCAU in Sioux City, IA, KLKN in Lincoln, NE and WLNE in Providence R.I.

The article said the station group has offered the free air time to candidates for eight years running.

Irene Mahoney-Paige Out as WLNE News Director

After just four months as the station’s news director, Irene Mahoney-Paige is out at WLNE.

Vice president and general manager Chris Tzianabos confirmed her exit to TVSpy today.

Mahoney-Paige, who came to WLNE after three years as an executive producer at WTIC in Hartford, is departing the station following a November ratings book that was not up to Tzianabos’s expectations.

Tzianabos says that WLNE is now searching for someone with “enough experience” to make the news department “competitive and relevant in the market.” Read more

WLNE Gets a Citadel Makeover

Providence ABC-affiliate WLNE, which was purchased last spring by Citadel Communications, has launched a new website with an updated logo as it prepares to begin broadcasting the news in HD.

The design of the new site, as well as the new logo, are similar to the refreshed looks of other Citadel stations, including KLKN in Lincoln and WOI in Des Moines.

After Flurry of Personnel Moves, WLNE Names New News Director

Irene Mahoney-Paige has been named news director of Providence’s WLNE. She is set to join the ABC-affiliate on July 15th.

“Irene brings years of experience along with fresh, innovative ideas,” said WLNE vice president and general manager Chris Tzianabos, who joined the station himself just two months ago. “We are thrilled to have her lead the team during this critical time.”

The hiring of Mahoney-Paige, who comes to WLNE after three years as executive producer at WTIC in Hartford, is seemingly the last piece of a dramatic overhaul at WLNE by the station’s new owner Citadel Communications. In addition to bringing Tzianabos on-board, WLNE introduced a new weekday evening anchor team and hired a new weekend evening anchor. The station also issued a significant round of layoffs in April.

In a press release, Mahoney-Paige said that she is “extremely excited” to be joining the WLNE news team. Read more

Shouted Down by New Owner, Anchor John DeLuca Re-Signs with WLNE

After receiving a newsroom shout-down from his new boss, WLNE’s marquee anchor John DeLuca has signed a new two-year contract with the ABC-affiliate.

Earlier this month, news hit that Citadel Communications CEO Phil Lombardo laid into DeLuca moments before a newscast after he heard the veteran anchor loudly searching for a misplaced laptop. Reports paraphrase Lombardo’s message to DeLuca as “I could easily have your ass thrown out of here.”

Now, according to GoLocalProv, DeLuca has decided to re-sign with WLNE after sniffing around for another gig. A native of New England, DeLuca joined WLNE in 1999 and currently anchors the station’s 5, 6, and 11 p.m.

By signing DeLuca, WLNE maintains some on-air consistency. Since being acquired by Citadel, over a dozen staffers have been shown the door including DeLuca’s co-anchor Allison Alexander, who was recently replaced by Karen Meyers.

At Troubled WLNE, New Owner Shouts Down Veteran Anchor Before Newscast

After acquiring Providence’s WLNE, Citadel Communications CEO Phil Lombardo said that he would “crawl all over the place” in scrutinizing the station’s operations. Well, he certainly made his presence known recently as he dressed down WLNE’s main anchor John DeLuca in the middle of the newsroom.

Lombardo was at the station recently when, moments before a newscast, DeLuca discovered that his laptop, which he uses at the anchor desk, had gone missing. According to GoLocalProv, Lombardo overheard DeLuca’s frenzied search for his laptop and didn’t like what he was hearing:

According to station insiders, somehow Lombardo heard the DeLuca chatter about the laptop and flipped out. Literally screaming at DeLuca and making suggestions along the line of “I could have easily thrown your *** out of here” … Mind you, this is NOT happening in an office with the door closed—it is happening in the open newsroom where everyone is just watching and listening to DeLuca being yelled at.

Read more

Citadel Names Chris Tzianabos VP-GM of WLNE

Citadel Communications has named Chris Tzianabos vice president and general manager of WLNE.

Citadel is set to officially take over management of the Providence ABC-affiliate May 1st and the company expects to receive FCC approval of its acquisition of WLNE this summer.

Earlier this month, Steve Doerr, who has been with WLNE since 2007, announced that he was stepping aside as vice president and general manager.

Tzianabos has significant experience working in the region. He served as vice president and general manager of Boston’s WFXT from 2000 to 2009. Prior to that, he held sales management positions at WHDH and the New England Sports Network. Read more

Under New Owner, WLNE Issues Round of Layoffs

There has been a significant round of layoffs at Providence’s WLNE, the financially troubled ABC-affiliate that was recently acquired by Citadel Communications.

TVSpy has heard from multiple sources that as many as nine staffers were sent packing on Friday and Saturday, including chief engineer Jim Brown and  assignment editor Neil Remiesiewicz. Station management has yet to return several phone calls from TVSpy seeking comment.

Two photographers as well as a handful of production staff were also victims of the station’s Tax Day belt tightening.

Earlier this month, WLNE announced that vice president and general manager Steve Doerr would soon vacate his post. After a judge approved the sale of WLNE, Citadel’s Phil Lombardo said,  “We’ll tell them our philosophy and compare it to what their philosophy is, and hopefully get a gameplan together that works for everybody.”

VP Marc Fauci Quickly Departs WLNE for Boston’s WFXT

Just over a year after joining Providence’s WLNE, Marc Fauci, the station’s vice president and director of sales, has jumped ship.

Boston Fox-affiliate WFXT announced this week that it had named Fauci vice president and general sales manager.

Fauci joined WLNE last February and his move to Boston comes just as the ABC-affiliate was sold in auction to Citadel Communications.

For the past few months, WLNE has been splitting its 7 p.m. time slot between local news and paid programming, including a Genie Bra spot that aired last week. Preparing a visit to WLNE, in which the company would “crawl all over the place,” Citadel Communications CEO Phil Lombardo told B&C that the attention WLNE has received over its 7 p.m. paid programming is “unfortunate.”

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