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Toledo

Sinclair Ends Retrans Negotiations with Buckeye Cable over WNWO Blackout

sinclair_buckeyeSinclair Broadcasting has announced the retransmission negotiations between its Toledo, OH, NBC affiliate WNWO and Buckeye Cable have ended without agreement.

“We apologize to Buckeye’s subscribers for the inconvenience this has caused,” Barry Faber, Sinclair’s chief negotiator said in a statement. “While we are aware that Buckeye has been providing its subscribers with a monthly credit of twenty-four cents ($0.24) as a result of the absence of WNWO, obviously this represents a mere fraction of the value of WNWO’s programming and is insulting not only to WNWO, but to Buckeye’s own subscribers.”

The very public fight began in December with the Block Communications’ owned Buckeye running ads about the blackout in its owned paper the The Blade. In one ad, Buckeye depicted Sinclair as a Grinch-like figure called “Sinclinch.” In another Buckeye called WNWO a “low-viewership, FREE, over-the-air station with inferior on-air news talent.”

Buckeye’s President and general manager Jeff Abbas said in an open letter on its website, “I want to assure our customers that we want to continue to carry WNWO, we are committed to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement as quickly as possible, and we are willing to pay fair compensation for WNWO’s over-the-air signal on our system. We believe, however, that fair compensation should reflect WNWO’s value to our customers, compared to other Toledo stations.”

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Melissa Voetsch Joins WTVG in Toledo

Melissa-VoetschMore than a year after health issues forced her to leave Toledo CBS affiliate WTOL, Melissa Voetsch has returned to the airwaves on rival WTVG. Voetch, who anchored the morning newscasts at WTOL, suffers from a heart condition.

“Melissa Voetsch joined 13abc this week on a temporary basis to help us with some staffing needs. She will be a general assignment reporter and we are delighted to have someone of her abilities on our team,” Brian Trauring, the ABC affiliate’s news director, told TVSpy.

The Toledo Blade reports Voetsch will be with WTVG for at least the next three months.

Chrys Peterson Signing Off From WTOL

chrys petersonChrys Peterson is saying goodbye to WTOL after 20 years at the Toledo CBS affiliate, the Toledo Blade reports.

Peterson, the weeknight evening anchor, is leaving the station to spend more time with her family. She will officially sign off on February 28.

“Chrys has been a fixture at WTOL and, more importantly, in this community for 20 years. I can’t begin to express how much she will be missed,” news director C.J. Hoyt told the Blade. “The good news is that she’ll remain a part of this community and a part of the many projects that are near to her heart and important to our viewers and WTOL, like Race for the Cure. It’s certainly going to be impossible to truly replace her, so we’ll talk more about that at a more appropriate time.”

Sinclair Calls Buckeye Cable’s Retrans Attack Ads ‘Silly Antics’

buckeye_sinclair_grinchBuckeye Cablesystem seems to be waging a very public battle against Sinclair Broadcasting in a fight over retrans fees for Sinclair’s NBC station WNWO.

The saga began when Sinclair pulled its newly acquired station off the Ohio based cable system last Sunday.

Buckeye, which is owned by Block Communications, started placing print ads in the Block-owned newspaper The Blade depicting Sinclair as the bad guy in the fight. (see the gallery of ads after the jump)

In one of the ads, Buckeye called WNWO a “low-viewership, FREE, over-the-air station with inferior on-air news talent.” In another, it painted Sinclair as a Grinch figure called “Sinclinch” and wrote, “The people of Metro Toledo like Christmas a lot, But the Sinclinch of Hunt Valley Maryland does not.” Sinclair is based in Hunt Valley, MD

Sinclair EVP and general counsel Barry Faber told TVSpy The Blade refused to allow his station group to buy space in order to give its side of the story.

Calling the tactics employed by Buckeye “juvenile” and “silly antics,” Faber told TVSpy the retrans fight is simple. He said it’s a business deal where one company doesn’t want to pay what another company is asking for. Read more

John Christianson to Head Lilly Broadcasting’s Eastern Division

Lilly Broadcasting LogoJohn Christianson has been named executive vice president of Lilly Broadcasting’s Eastern Division and general manager of One Caribbean Television.

Christianson was replaced as GM of Toledo ABC affiliate WTVG by Peter Veto who was director of sales and national sales manager for both WTVG and WJRT as well as serving as GM of SJL Broadcasting’s WJRT.

“It’s been an honor to work at WTVG with the fantastic staff and management team, to continue the tradition of excellence in journalism and involvement in the community,” said Christianson in a statement.

Previously, Christianson worked as news director and later GM of WSEE in Erie, PA. He has also served as GM at WICU and WBEP in Erie and is credited for his involvement in creating and finding distribution for One Caribbean Television.

Sinclair Pulls WNWO from Buckeye Cable Over Retrans Fees

Toledo newspaper The Blade is reporting Sinclair Broadcast Group group told Buckeye CableSystem to pull the signal of its newly acquired NBC affiliate WNWO off the cable system after their previous retransmission consent contract expired at midnight Sunday.

In addition to the video above, Buckeye also posted an update on negotiations to its website. “Sinclair is demanding to be paid about 10 times more than what WNWO was receiving before the sale; far in excess of what leading Toledo stations receive, even though WNWO has nowhere near the viewership of the leading stations.”

Sinclair bought WNWO as part of its recent purchase of Barrington Broadcasting stations.

Buckeye is offering free digital antennas to its subscribers as one solution for watching NBC during the blackout.

Brandon Jones Set to Join WTOL in Toledo

Brandon Jones is joining Toledo CBS affiliate WTOL as a morning anchor and reporter. In a note to staffers obtained by TVSpy, news director CJ Hoyt said Jones will begin at WTOL August 12.

“He’ll get acclimated his first couple days and be on the air that week co-anchoring with Melissa Andrews … We’re very excited to have him on board!” Hoyt wrote.

Jones moves to Toledo from Greensboro, N.C., where he is a reporter at WGHP. He has previously worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor at KBTV in Beaumont, Texas and as an associate producer at WDIV in Detroit.

WNWO Adds Falconer as Morning Anchor

Annette Falconer has joined WNWO as its morning anchor.

Yesterday, on her facebook page, she promoted her first day on-air for the Toledo NBC affiliate, writing, “Alright…here we go! First day on air, tomorrow morning at 4:30 A.M.!!! Join us for the fun! :)

Falconer, who last worked at KLTV in Tyler, TX, replaces Abby Powell who left WNWO in May after nearly a year.

[The Toledo Blade]

Jim Blue Coming Back to Toledo as WNWO News Director and Anchor

WNWO has announced Jim Blue will join the Toledo NBC affiliate as news director and 6 p.m. anchor.

“I’m tremendously excited about rejoining WNWO at a time of incredible renewal at the station and in the community,” said Blue. “We’ve all sacrificed in recent years to achieve a new vitality in our economy and in our city. Now I hope to build upon WNWO’s recent successes and work to provide a fresh, independent journalistic voice in Toledo.”

Blue, who comes to the station from WFFT in Fort Wayne, IN, worked for WNWO once before from 2002 to 2008. Read more

VIDEO: Toledo Anchor Rescues Pitbull, Searches for Owner on Air

Angi Gonzalez, anchor for WNWO in Toledo, used her chicken dinner to rescue a stray pit bull found wandering outside the NBC affiliate’s studios.

In the report aired on WNWO and posted to the station’s website, Gonzalez can be seen feeding the dog and later carrying the stray pooch to her car.  The station is updating viewers on the dog’s condition and subsequent search for her owner on its facebook page, its website, and on air.

The station said the pooch is on hold until 6 p.m. tomorrow.  After that, the dog will be given a behavior evaluation and possibly put up for adoption. Read more

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