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Apr 23, 2001  •  Post A Comment

WFTC set to begin 9 p.m. newscast
Fox affiliate WFTC-TV, Minneapolis, launches a 9 p.m. newscast Monday, making it the third station in the market with a one-hour 9 p.m. offering.
The station has been planning to air a newscast for several years. In December, Jon Fischer-formerly assistant news director at KTLA-TV, Los Angeles-was hired to set up the newsroom from scratch.
“We’re just going to try and get back to the basics of journalism: good stories well told,” Mr. Fischer said.
In the market, UPN affiliate KMSP-TV and independent station KSTC-TV already have 9 p.m. newscasts. “We did research, and it showed the main station in the market doing a 9 p.m. news, KMSP, was underperforming statistically, which we felt we could capitalize on,” he said. “This station needed more of a local identity. The only thing you have to make yourself unique is your local connection to the community. There is a tremendous amount of ad dollars for doing news, and it provides a stable base of resources to do other local program development.”
For the anchor team, Mr. Fischer hired Chris Conangla, who once worked at Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP-TV as well as KCBS-TV, Los Angeles. Jordana Green was hired from Fox affiliate WXIN-TV, Indianapolis. Sports anchor John Henk is returning to his hometown from Sacramento, Calif.’s CBS affiliate KOVR-TV. Weathercaster Karl Spring is also returning to his hometown from NBC affiliate WREX-TV, Rockford, Ill.
Ruiz heads from KDFW to KRQE
Albuquerque, N.M.’s CBS affiliate KRQE-TV hired Erika Ruiz to join Dick Knipfing as co-anchor on the 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. news on June 1. Ms. Ruiz comes from Fox-owned KDFW-TV, Dallas. She recently received national exposure when she covered the “Texas Seven” escape story, and was on the Fox News Channel.
June 1 will be the first time viewers will see Mr. Knipfing since he resigned from rival ABC affiliate KOAT-TV a year ago. It marks the end of the one-year noncompete clause in his contract that kept him off the airwaves in that market.
Shocknek finds new L.A. home at KCBS
Kent Shocknek will be back on the air in Los Angeles on April 26 as morning anchor at KCBS-TV.
KNBC let Mr. Shocknek go shortly after the February sweeps book ended. The Southern California native and Emmy winner began anchoring KNBC’s morning newscast at its debut in 1986. He spent about 17 years at the station. KCBS has not had a morning male anchor since John Overall left the anchor seat, later landing at KVVU-TV, Las Vegas.
Belo delivers personalized Web news
Belo Interactive, Belo’s Internet subsidiary, and messaging firm Strategy.com have partnered to launch My News, which is a free service that delivers personalized news information to consumers through e-mail, the Internet, mobile phones, pagers and fax. Two Belo Web sites-Dallasnews.com and KVUE.com-are already offering My News.
Belo’s cable news channel Web sites, NWCN.com and TXCN.com, are scheduled to launch My News this month. King5.com and Inlandempire.com will follow in June. The rest of Belo’s Web sites will begin the service in October.
After the testing phase, a fee will be charged for the service. The monthly fee has not yet been determined.
Paxson approves JSAs with 2 NBC affils
Paxson Communications Corp. has entered into joint sales agreements with NBC affiliates WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids, Mich., and WAVY-TV, Norfolk, Va., both owned by LIN Television Corp. Both stations will provide sales and marketing for Pax stations WZPX-TV, Grand Rapids, and WPXV-TV, Norfolk. Both WOOD and WAVY will also repurpose their newscasts on the Pax stations in their markets. Pax has JSAs for 50 of its 61 stations.
Karissa S. Wang can be reached by phone at 323-370-2430, via e-mail at kwang@crain.com or by fax at 323-653-4425.