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Thundershock MN

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Everything posted by Thundershock MN

  1. 1. The "Service to New Jersey" thing is way overblown and I think people read into it too much. Also, said politicians that did a lot of the fist pounding are no longer with us. 2. If I was going to place a bet I'd put majority of my chips on them simply going back to "WWOR 9". Like KTVU I think this is the one case where the calls hold some value in the market. But, that's just my opinion. And, I agree with CircleSeven that the NYC & LA stations will be the last to receive a rebranding if they decide to go all in with rebranding the MNT O&O's. Of the 4 duopoly partners that have now been rebranded I think this ranks towards the top. The blue & black looks nice and should flow with any MNT promos/imaging. But, they are also using a red and black logo/imaging in some on air promos which makes no sense to me and seems out of place from cohesion standpoint. But, I guess it could be worse. Yes, they are adding a 7pm newscast. It won't launch until later this fall. My guess is Mid-September. But, I haven't heard an exact start date or anchor team. FWIW, I was under the impression the rebrand would take place along side the Minnesota State Fair (Aug. 24 - Sept. 4.) And, They'd use the event as the "big unvailing" for the new brand. For whatever reason they choose to quietly "soft launch" last Friday night. Unlike their sister stations I don't believe any press release/news article has been put out yet and the My29 subsite is still up and running. So, I'm kind of thinking the fair will be the "official" launch. I'd expect more on said newscast and the rest of the "Fox 9+" lineup at that time. PS - Unless there has been a mass exodus recently there appears to be an inordinate amount of job openings in Houston right now....just saying.
  2. The O&O's have been playing with the scheduling for the past 3-4 years now. It started with WWOR shifting House and placing The Simpsons on Thursday nights. KCOP followed after, then WPWR. It has kind of snowballed from there. I haven't kept up but, I'm 95.7% sure more than half of the MNT O&O's are running programming out of pattern now. And, really it goes back a little further than that if you look at MNT affiliates as a whole. Fox started loosening the reigns on branding/standardization around 2011-13 if memory serves me correct. And, the allowing more stations to run out of pattern followed shortly thereafter. The affiliates realized that the "My ___" branding really didn't hold much value. The O&O's are just starting to realize what a lot already knew. MNT the programming service will be around at least another year. And, I wouldn't be that shocked if it hangs around for some time after that. IDK It may become an unbranded service. But, it's cheap to run and allows affiliates to fill 10 hours of real estate a week in one fell swoop. So, it does serve some purpose. Sure it's a crap load of off net re-runs. But, what would most of these stations fill that time with anyway.... off net re-runs. As noted above it's the branding that's garbage. It's a vestage of Fox's purchase of MySpace. If your a sister station (like the O&O's) and people view your station as a dumping ground for leftovers and second runs, etc of programming on the "senior" station then why not go whole hog and leverage that "senior" station's brand. And, generally speaking that "senior" station's brand holds a little more value. If you're going to attempt some sort of brand extension/brand synergy it might be best to use an established brand versus some flavor of the month website that will fade into obscurity almost as quickly as it came into being...just saying.
  3. Little birdie tells me WFTC is next in line. Sounds like the branding will be "Fox 9+". I find it some interesting that Fox isn't using a standard template and/or logos for these rebrands given their liking for brand standardization. If the new logo I've seen is legit they are yet again doing something a little different from the other My O&O's that have been rebranded. It appears they will keep the blue & black color scheme and use a the horizontal "Fox 9" bug logo (recolored blue & black) with a smaller "+" appended to the end. It also sounds like it will be rebranded here in the next month as well.
  4. Zero chance of that happening. KFXF is not needed as part of the reverse auction and wasn't even offered an opening bid price. It will either be shut down or donated/sold on the cheap.
  5. I can assure you w/ 100% certainty that they do not currently air a newscast on Sundays @ 10:35pm. That slot has been occupied by Rosen's Sports Sunday for the last 34+ years. Of course that will change after this Sunday's final airing.OTOH the Saturday 10:35pm slot is currently filled with a newscast. That odd newscast slot is also a vestage of previous Sports shows (outdoors/high school related) being dropped a few years back. They essentially rolled the time into the newscast. But, if there are sufficient Sports stories to report on they will have an "extended" sports segment...which is the same thing they are planning to do on Sunday nights.Why Tribune Media Services/Gracenote and/or Rovi have it listed as "WCCO 4 News @ 10:35pm" on Sundays I haven't the foggiest idea and the guide data has been that way for some time now. I personally think that is a clear sign WRT their bidding strategy for those two stations. But, one could make the argument they could still sell one of the new transmitters, repurpose them in other market or channel share with a third party licensee in the markestatement, WRT these two stations it's still possible they could participate in the auction even if their parent bought new transmitters for them. As an aside, every article listing who is partaking in the auction just says something to the effect of "[insert station group] is planning on participating." First, we don't know their bidding strategies or plans. For example, a statement of "CBS plans on participating" would be 100% true and factual even if they really only intended to participate w/ the KCCO & KCCW licenses and nothing else. Or, only look to move licenses from UHF to VHF. And, unless they have zero interest most groups are going to throw their hat in the ring at this point. It's relatively low risk and keeps their options open as they can always drop out. Quite frankly I'd be shocked if they clear the full 126Mhz. I understand why they chose that target. But, I think once the bids start getting reduced significantly a fair amount stations will drop out. And, the clearing target will end up needing to be lowered. Just my opinion.
  6. The Consumer Investigative Unit is for all intents and purposes a hubbed operation. The NBC/Telemundo Consumer Investigative Center is located in Dallas/Fort Worth within the Studios at DFW facility, the same building that houses KXAS/KXTX. All the calls to the toll free numbers (and, emails) are routed to an agent/producer at The NBC/Telemundo Consumer Investigative Center in Dallas/Fort Worth. The agent/producer who takes the call/email does the "grunt work" and works with (or, forwards) the story to the local station(s) producers/reporters to get the story to air. So, KNBC's previous space constraints would be of little concern as everything runs through Dallas. With that said as far as I can tell the only stations (on the NBC side) that haven't been added to the Consumer Investigative "Hub" are the 3 California stations and WTVJ...why I have know idea. And, for anyone that cares WCCO will be expanding their Sunday 10pm newscast to a full hour starting May 29th. The half-hour Rosen's Sports Sunday which currently airs at 10:35pm will air it's last episode next week.
  7. The NBC/Telemundo Consumer Investigative Center is located at the new NBCU facility in Fort Worth, TX. EDIT: Sara Garza, former KOMO Asst. ND (and spouse of current KXAS VP of News, Mark Ginther) is heading up the operation. She put out a Facebook post a few months ago looking for more producers to help staff the operation. Here is one of the expired job posts. And, here is a Miami Harald article from last fall outlining the investments in Telemundo. In it they noted that NBCUniversal "add[ed] nine Telemundo Responde (Telemundo Responds) consumer investigative units to address issues called in by viewers to a control center in Dallas." Sorry, I figured I'd elaborate and provide a few souces to back up my one sentence reply.
  8. First, I wouldn't say Tribune Media is "struggling." Second, the renewal of their CW affiliation agreements is totally unrelated to their debt load. One has nothing to do with the other and why you tied those two together puzzles me.
  9. And yet the TEGNA, with the TV and digital assets, has a better chance of being able to service it's debt.
  10. As bad as the My[#] branding is it does hold some value. That branding has been around for nearly a decade now on all the MNT O&OS. And, although it hasn't been an O&O long I'm pretty sure WMYT has had the My[#] for the same length of time. I'm not sure any other Fox O&O could pull off the "[Call Letter] Plus" branding. Fox for pretty much it'sentire history has de-emphasized Call Letters in favor of "Fox [#]" branding. If they tried a "KSAZ Plus" or 'KRIV Plus" I think you'd have a ton of people wondering what KSAZ and KRIV is. Viewers don't know or associate those stations with their call letters. I don't see it happening but if push came to shove you'd see likey see a "FOX[#] Plus" branding. But, the fact that the KTVU calls still hold value and that Fox apparently sees that kind of speaks volumes to the KTVU brand. Yes, The PSIP standard/FCC rules would allow them to do so. Without writing a long post I'll just direct you to a couple previous posts here, here, here and here if you'd like all the details. There are a small number of Diginets (MeTV, Bounce and CoziTV being the main ones) that allow limited network preemption (usually 1-2 hrs./day) for newscasts. Small nitpick. But, WFTC isn't simulcast on KMSP. 9.2 is the "primary stream" for WFTC and it still originates from the WFTC transmitter. In fact, 9.1, 9.2 & 9.3 all originate from WFTC. 9.9, which is KMSP's "primary stream", and 9.4 orignate from KMSP. The only simulcast amongst them is on 9.1 which duplicates KMSP's "primary stream". A lot of them do. WFTC has historically picked up news programming in October during the World Series, etc. But, it all depends on contracts with syndicators, etc. Some agreements require shows to be clears and certian timeslots. And, some don't allow much wiggle room for shows to be bumped...usually only containing exceptions for breaking news or severe weather.
  11. Dear Sinclair, If you are going to submit a multiple ownership exhibit with an application you may want to proof-read it first. Or, hire a better consultant. HINT: WJLP is no longer located in the market. That station "moved" some 2,000+ miles to the east TWO years ago. So, you might be stretching it a bit including it as a voice in the SLC market. Thanks. For what it's worth the voices chart submitted would still contain the same number of voices as KUTF / Daystar was left off. I just get a chuckle that they forgot the station that is the impediment to them mapping the KMYU simulcast on KUTV to 12.1 and added a NYC station in it's place. I think it's safe to say that it will be terminated once the deal closes. The FCC has held the position for quite some time that stations in a single DMA may be commonly owned, without the need for a waiver (satellite or failing station), if their Grade B contours do not overlap From the application: "KMYU(TV) is licensed to St. George, Utah, located in the southwestern corner of Utah, more than 250 miles from Salt Lake City in north-central Utah, home to KUTV(TV) and KJZZ TV. Neither the prior analog Grade B contours nor, as shown in Exhibit 1 hereto, the current digital noise limited contours, of KMYU(TV) overlap the contours of either KUTV(TV) or KJZZ-TV. Because of the lack of signal overlap, the stations can be owned in combination in compliance with the local television ownership rules without the need for a satellite exemption." So, they are fine to own all three stations.
  12. The early retirement buyouts are a "cost control" measure. Payroll (and benefits) are usually the largest expense for most companies. So, when looking to keep expenses in line unfortunately that is one of the first places they look. These types of (or, similar) buyouts are happening at all types of companies healthy, unhealthy and those somewhere in between. Those currently closest to retirement age often have larger salaries due to tenure and a lot of them may have a pension (along with other retirement benefits) as well. Obviously, they can't just layoff everyone over 55...that would be age discrimination. But, there is nothing preventing companies from discriminating favorably against older employees...enter early retirement buyouts. Not only does this allow them to lower their payroll by replacing higher salaried workers with new low salaried employees. But, with the rising cost of insurance obligations as well as adding to years of service for pension obligations most companies want to gain a handle on those benefits as well. By convincing them to leave active employment they can gain some control and certainty around those future benefit obligations. I'm not saying I agree with the tactic but, just pointing out why it's being done. TEGNA's current cash flow has been sufficient to cover their debt obligations. They repaid $587 Million in 2015. Although, that was offset by $200 Million in new borrowing so, the Net reduction was $387 Million. And, large portions of that debt doesn't mature for several years. Yes, I would agree that indirectly the buyouts help in regards to their debt. But, I wouldn't necessarily portray them as teetering on the brink of insolvency. Let me give you analogy. Now before I start I will say this isn't the best analogy...it's a bit apples vs. oranges...but, I think it might help illustrate what I'm saying better. Let's say I have stable employment/income, modest savings, a decent sized "debt load" in the form of a mortgage and car loan. Although I have those debt obligations all my bills are paid on time and there is still some free cash left cover, etc., etc. One day after analyzing discretionary spending in the household budget I decide that some expenses are on an upward trajectory and need to be reigned in a bit. This doesn't mean I can't afford them or pay all of my current bills, it's more of a long-term budgeting thing. So, I make the decision to pay an ETF (or, "buyout") to get out of the remainder of my Cable TV contract and replace that with a cheaper month-to-month streaming TV service. Likewise, I do the same for my cell phone service paying an ETF (or, "buyout") to move to a cheaper service. Now, does this mean I'm on the brink of foreclosure or bankruptcy? No, not by any means. Sometimes things are simply done to control costs because the person (or, persons) in charge of the budget feels it's the fiscally responsible thing to do. A similar principal can be applied when looking at the business world. Now am I a fan of people being forced out of their job...Heck No! And, yes I'm aware that my analogy compares peoples livelihood to discretionary tv/phone service...again it's not the greatest analogy. The point I'm trying to make is that sometimes X doesn't always equal Y. Just because I cut expenses out of my personal budget doesn't mean necessarily I'm struggling. And, likewise the same can be said for a buisness It's considered "supplemental income" by the IRS so it's subject to a higher withholding when the check is issued. Compubit already touched on this above but, most employers choose to withhold a flat 25% for the Feds on a single check (versus using an aggregate method when "supplemental income" is paid out on regular paychecks.) Now, once you add in any state and local withholding you could easily push 40%...I know first hand. With that said it's important to note that all income is taxed the same at filing time. These are just withholding rates. So, It all comes out in the wash at tax filing time.
  13. Is it anymore confusing than "KQED Plus" (KQEH) on channel 54? If Bay Area viewers can figure out the difference between KQED and "KQED Plus" I don't think they'd have an issue with KTVU and a "KTVU Plus" (KICU) on channel 36. And, yes I am aware that KQED and KQEH simulcast each others signals. Also, they could just "neighborhood" all their channels under a common virtual channel number, like say 2. It's not like they don't have a pair of sister stations doing that or anything. As to the spectrum auction question. I don't see it. "Worse case scenario" they participate and channel share with themselves. So, they'd still keep the KICU license and virtual channel assignment. It would be ridiculously stupid (for anyone) to surrender the license and just move the programming to a subchannel if you have a duopoly in the market. You could accomplish the same thing by channel sharing with yourself and keep the benefits that come with keeping the license. I think you nailed it. It's a new branding/imaging to align the two stations. Oddly, and this is more to TVNewsLover's question above. But, I'm not sure any other Fox O&O could pull off the "[Call Letter] Plus" branding. Fox for pretty much it's entire history has de-emphasized Call Letters in favor of "Fox [number]" branding. The fact that the KTVU calls still hold value and that Fox apparently sees that kind of speaks volumes to the KTVU brand. But, I do have one question. Is it safe to assume that MyNetworkTV will be staying on KRON? The affiliation agreement is/was up in Aug./Sept. of this year. It seems odd for Fox to hold out this long, not move MNT to their station and choose to re-brand KICU as "KTVU Plus". I suppose they could still have MNT programming even with the "KTVU Plus" branding. But, The timing seems odd...you know what mean.
  14. The offers were made a little over 6 weeks ago. By law employers must give workers over age 40 at least 45 days (when offers are made to a group) to consider an early retirement offer under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. Employees also have 7 days to revoke an agreement after signing it. So, it's possible they could have known approximately 5 weeks ago some of the employees that would be taking the offer(s). On the flip side it's possible that they didn't know some of the employees that would be taking the offer(s) until approximately a week ago. In any event they knew who offers were made to several weeks ago and could plan accordingly in the event offers were accepted. They remain employed. Although, (as rkolsen posted) Early Retirement Offer(s)/Buyout(s) tend to be a prelude to layoffs. So, if you are given an offer and refuse you could possibly be laid off with a less favorable severance down the road. However, it is also worth noting that employers can't just lay off employees based on age (or, race, gender, etc). And, disparate impact prevents protected classes from being disproportionatly impacted. So, it's possible for an older employee to weather potential layoffs even after rejecting an early retirement offer. Most (but not all) employers will usually state if layoffs may occur in the event there are not enough takers of the early retirement buyouts. This way they can "juice" participation in the buyouts and protect themselves a bit from any future litigation by being up front about the possibility of layoffs. IMO I believe TEGNA is simply trying to reduce their payroll (and, pension) obligations. So, I personally don't expect any mass layoffs shortly thereafter. I can almost guarantee you they have a non-compete agreement... Especially, the on air talent. I'd be shocked if they didn't. The point is to get them off the payroll. And, more importantly not add more years of service thereby increasing any future pension obligations. It might be harsh but, the company trying to create some certainty around it's payroll, pension (and other benefits) obligations for these employees. By rehiring them it would essentially negate any (or, most of the) benefits received from the employee taking the early retirement offer. No, they don't get both. They are trading any future earnings in exchange for the buyout offer. So, if employee A has 2 years left on an agreement they would be forgoing that in exchange for the 2 weeks/per year (plus, some continuation of benefits I'm sure.) The same would apply for an employee without an agreement. They'd be forgoing continued employment in exchange for the buyout offer. I'd bet money that the on-air talent (if not all employees) are getting non-compete agreements. That includes the "No non-compete" States. You write the agreement as so it is entered into and governed by the laws of your principal place of business. In this case that would be Virginia where non-compete agreements are legal and enforceable...so, problem solved.
  15. The same person who owns KTTU now. Unless something changes Ben Tucker will still own the station post JSA. The only thing ending is the JSA. The other shared service agreements will continue. So, really all that would have to be done is add a sales person and GM on the KTTU payroll.
  16. There are not enough stations in the Tucson market to create another legal duopoly. There are only eight remaining voices with the KGUN/KWBA & KUVE/KFTU duopolies.
  17. I think you got it. Everything is located at (or, within) the same building except the "kitchen set" which is housed at the Cambria Studio(/Showroom) in the CBS Radio building on the corner of 7th St & 2nd Ave. Although, the Nicollet Mall Studio has essentially been relegated housing ancillary set pieces with the introduction of WCCO's latest set back in 2012. The Nicollet Mall Studio now only houses a roundtable and large touchscreen monitor for stand-ups. If you are interested here is a link to some cool 360 panoramas of WCCO's Newsroom and the Nicollet Mall Studio that it opens up to circa 2007 when there last set was being built. The one thing I found interesting with their last generation of set(s) is that they not only had the two identical desks (one in each studio) but, a third smaller one-person desk that used the newsroom as the backdrop. You can see said desk (along with the temporary desk they were using at the time) in the 360 pics. Man, I wish they would have somehow melded the wood tones and warm color design of the 2007 set into the set they introduced in 2012. The warm colors and wood tones just fit their building and look so well *sigh*. Anyway, about TEGNA.....
  18. So, you really wouldn't have a way to know this being in the Baltimore area and all but, the "new" backyard actually debuted in July 2014. I'm not sure why that article is has a dateline/timestamp of 3 days ago. The URL has the actual date within it. Also, I have no clue what Belinda meant with her statement that "it's a 1/3 of the size". It's literally the exact same size...the footprint didn't change. In fact, the fence surrounding it is the exact same fence. They just took down a couple fence panels during construction to get materials/equipment in and out. IDK, maybe she meant the patio (or, useable space) as more area is now covered by landscaping and hardscape features. And, the poured concrete areas are heated with a radiant heating system . I still think KARE's renovation of the backyard was a reaction to WCCO debuting their rooftop studio in late 2013. Don't get me wrong I think the new backyard is great and lightyears ahead of what they had. But, personally I think WCCO has them beat. Plus, WCCO really has two outdoor areas the rooftop and the plaza.
  19. Gray recently completed their acquisition of K20MB-D in Sioux Falls, SD for $100,000 at the end of July as well.
  20. I've said it before but, Scripps really isn't doing anything all that different from other broadcasters. I guess I'm just puzzled how we seem to jump to Scripps somehow teetering on the brink of insolvency because they are doing something(s) different and we may not agree with it. I'm not going to belabor the point but, IMO Scripps isn't going away anytime soon.
  21. First, they didn't get rid of the News Director. When Chris Kline was promoted to the position they specifically said he was being promoted to the position of News Director. And, to the best of my knowledge his job title is still News Director. Yes, he was previously Director of New Media so, he comes with more of a "digital" background than others. I think the "digital person" thing was more a jab from the author. But, based on his previous work experience at least on paper he looks more than qualified for the job. I think the 3 editor positions along with the web producer that were "eliminated" were just rolled up into the 10 "real-time desk" editor positions. So, they maybe had a slight change in job focus and duties. I think the name "real-time desk" is dumb. They are trying too hard to be "hip" and show that news doesn't wait with that name. But, the general public knows nothing of their cutting edge "real-time desk." So, just pick a name like the "convergence desk", "content desk" or even simply "news desk" that reflects the new direction. Just dial it back a notch and stop trying so hard. IMO, E.W. Scripps is a fiscally responsible and financially sound company. And, I think they more than hold their weight against their peers. I think their size and being a pure play (or, "near pure play") keeps them somewhat limited with what they can do and how much risk they are willing to take. They just finished their double spin, double merge with Journal. Give it a little time and those extra 13 stations will start paying some dividends. But, in the short term there will be some extra expenses related to the integration. And, E.W. Scripps never really properly broke out "digital" as an operating segment. So, I don't know if anyone has ever been able to get a clear picture on how well (or, poorly) their digital assets are doing. However, going forward starting with Q2 2015 there will be a "digital" operating segment. That's very true. Sometimes you need to challenge the status quo. But, sometimes doing nothing is worse. For example, on the whole most newspapers chose to do nothing. They got left behind when it comes to "digital" and now they are playing catch up. I think Scripps being rooted as a "newspaper company" knows this all too well. And, they (along with a lot of other companies) don't want to repeat that mistake when it comes to television. I think the demise of Scripps is greatly exaggerated. Quite frankly they aren't going anywhere.
  22. "WUSA-TV, Inc." will be the new subsidiary/licensee for WUSA. Gannett has already filed (and been granted) the pro forma TOCs and assignments related to their restructuring. And, FWIW I do believe WJXX has already been moved from Gannett River States Publishing Corporation to Multimedia Holdings Corporation. Yes, I agree they will be in a good position for potential acquisitions. However, News Corp. and Journal Media Group were similarly (or, even better) positioned post-spinoff. News Corp. started nearly two years ago with $2.6 Billion in cash and NO debt. Likewise, Journal Media Group started with $10 Million in cash, no debt or any significant pension obligations. Yet, neither have made any significant acquisitions. On the flip side Tribune Publishing Company got dicked in their spinoff. They were saddled with $350 Million in debt to start, most of which was used to pay a special dividend to their former parent. And, as a added kick in the balls Tribune Media kept the real estate leasing it back to Tribune Publishing Company forcing them to pay rent to their former parent. Yet, of the recent newspaper spinoffs Tribune Publishing was the first to announce a significant acquisition. The point I'm making here is just because they are well positioned to make acquisitions doesn't mean that they are going to run around like drunken sailors buying everything in sight. They will be ready for "mop up" time when it comes...no need to blow the war chest right away. And, some of that will surely need to be spent building up digital assets as well. They have not set a final date. They are still shooting for mid-2015, though.
  23. It's hard to explain to someone that hasn't seen either show. But, it's kind of a clone of KMSP's The Buzz that airs in the same slot. The big difference being KMSP is heavy on the gossip/pop culture/entertainment news while WCCO has swapped that out for more lifestyle/human interest news. Otherwise, they both very similar both having a panel discussing a few "big" stories, reporting the headlines at :00 & :30, and a forecast or two mixed in. Looking at videos on KDKA's site it is similar in some ways to WCCO's new show but, I'd still say it's a different concept. Whoops. Thanks for pointing that out. On the plus side we finally get Jimmy Kimmel Live in HD as well. KSTP didn't/doesn't have the ability to tape delay in HD. So, all these years we've had JKL in all it's SD widescreen glory. Ugh, somehow I think I knew that. Hence, why I'd didn't reference it in those original posts I linked to. But, for whatever reason that JSA popped back into my head. I stand corrected...thanks for correcting my error. And, another small nugget from the Twin Cities market. KMSP is testing a news news/talk show called Friday nights @ 9:30pm. The link is to the first episode but, the best way I can describe it is basically a news/talk radio show adapted to TV. It's "hosted" by two talk radio hosts who discuss/debate the weeks "big" news stories. The EP appears on screen acting as a moderator of sorts telling them when to move on and giving them a new discussion topic. I believe it's getting a six episode test. Not horribly surprising as KMSP has been testing all sorts of half-hour "newsy" programs over the last year from "The Reporters" to "Game Day" to "The Goods" and now "Enough Said".
  24. Gannett would have a little difficulty buying KTXD as they currently have a JSA with KFWD. And, WFAA also handles KFWD's MC (at least prior to the Belo/Gannett merger.) I flat out forgot about that when I proclaimed Gannett would buy KTXD last spring and further elaborated my reasoning a month later. I guess I have a big plate of crow to eat on that one. Although, I'm still a bit puzzled why they broke off KCEB. Anyway, a few "happenings" of note here in the Twin Cities: WCCO VP/GM, Brien Kennedy, is headed to Philadelphia where he will become President/GM of KYW/WPSG. WCCO launched a 9am newscast, WCCO Mid-Morning, this past Monday. The format is mostly "fluff" and roundtable discussion of the days "talkers" coupled with the days headlines and weather. It's hosted by Jason DeRusha and Kylie Bearse. And, they will be joined by 2 members of WCCO's on-air staff rotating daily. WCCO Mid-Morning replaces The Queen Latifah Show which ceased airing new episodes earlier in March. I wouldn't be shocked if the concept expands to other CBS O&O's and WCCO is being used as the test bed. KMSP will reportedly launch a 10am "talk show" hosted by the returning Jason Matheson. It will reportedly be focused on "national talkers" and "pop culture." I'm guessing it might be similar to his morning radio show. But, I'm curious if it will be live or taped given his radio show ends at 9am. KMSP morning anchor, Tom Halden, is leaving to become director of communications for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His last day will be April 10th. Finally, KSTP is shortening it's hour-long 10pm newscast to the traditional 35 minute length starting April 13th. This will allow them to air Jimmy Kimmel Live at it's scheduled 10:35pm start time. The cynic in me can't help but think that ABC gave them some more "prodding" given they just started a new affiliation agreement with KSTP at the beginning of the year.
  25. No, there isn't such an exception. They could have requested a waiver from the FCC to swap virtual channels. However, I have not seen a request or a grant for such an event. And, if the FCC does grant a waiver for a virtual channel number the change will be reflected within the online public inspection file like how KGBY's was changed from VC 8 to VC 20 after their swap with KJCT-LP. Neither of KNSV's or KVMY's public inspection files reflects such a change. As such I don't believe Sinclair requested a waiver to swap VC numbers in Las Vegas they just did it unilaterally. I brought this up before but, how can that be you might ask? Well, like most FCC rules there are always a few "outlaws". You'll find licensees that don't shut off their daytime-only station. Licensees that don't operate at the correct power. Licensees that don't have files available for inspection...and, on and on. And, the FCC takes a lackadaisical approach to enforcement at times. So, some licensees choose to operate in violation of all sorts of rules and hope the FCC either doesn't notice and/or doesn't care. The virtual channel rules are no different. There are a handful of stations that choose to operate outside the rules. They are rolling the dice that nobody complains. If that happens they'll likely end up with a fine and order to map correctly. If you or someone wanted to file a complaint with the FCC I'm sure they would investigate the matter. But, I'm not sure what if anything would result from doing so at this point. I can't see the FCC forcing them to correctly map to VC 21 as that would cause viewer confusion now. And, It's not affecting a neighboring station. So, Best case (or, worst case depending on how you're point of view) it would likely result in a fine and a retroactive waiver to swap the VC numbers. As to why they didn't just pull such a move in Charlston, IDK. But, given the scrutiny they were under with the Allbritton deal there was little advantage to fanning the flames and pissing off the FCC by not following the VC rules potentially complicating the deal further.
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