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Jun 11, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Tampa cable channel sharing news
Time Warner’s 24-hour cable news channel Bay News 9 in Tampa, Fla., has news-sharing deals with three local newspapers-the Bradenton Herald in Manatee County, the Ledger in Polk County and the Citrus County Chronicle. With these deals, for example, in Manatee County, the Herald’s reporters will go live to report details during breaking news. The station and the Ledger have a joint venture to conduct and report a public opinion poll on topics of interest to viewers. The station will also establish a news bureau in the Chronicle’s newsroom. “From a marketing standpoint it makes a lot of sense,” said Bay News 9 General Manager Elliott Wiser. “We feel it’s important to explore a number of these newspaper partnerships. It takes the convergence issue to the next level.”
Telemundo celebrates station duopoly
Telemundo closed its $239 million deal on the acquisition of independent Spanish-language station KWHY-TV, Los Angeles, on June 1, making it the first Spanish-language duopoly in the market, with Telemundo-owned KVEA-TV, Los Angeles. At a party to celebrate the duopoly deal in Hollywood last week, Telemundo CEO James McNamara said both stations will be housed in one building to maximize efficiency. The duopoly will reach 40 percent of the Hispanic homes in the market. “We strongly believe that the combination of these two stations will soon position us as the dominant Hispanic television presence in Los Angeles,” he said.
L.A. mayoral race boosts stations
Despite what was one of the most expensive, closely contested mayoral campaigns in Los Angeles history, only three stations extended their coverage June 5 after their late news ended-KABC-TV, independent KCAL-TV and Fox-owned KTTV.
KABC saw a ratings spike at midnight to a 4.2 Nielsen Media Research rating and 14 share during James Hahn’s mayoral victory speech. The station finally went to network programming at 12:15 a.m. KNBC-TV, which had gone to network programming, broke in to cover the speech for that quarter-hour. KCAL, which had coverage led by political reporter Dave Bryan, went straight through the night until midnight.
“It’s a major election for Southern California, and a lot of people signed off their regular times. But we stayed on because we thought it was important,” said KCAL News Director Dennis Herzig. “We are known as a station that covers elections and politics. We have viewers who turn to us on those evenings.”
KTTV was the last station to sign off from news at 12:30 a.m. and was the only one to air candidate Antonio Villaraigosa’s concession speech. From 12:15 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., with no other local station airing election coverage, KTTV’s share almost doubled-its numbers went from 1.2/4 to a 1.8/7.
Earlier in the evening, KTTV got a scoop from Earvin “Magic” Johnson when he surprised reporter Tony Valdez by saying he would run in the next mayoral election. Mr. Valdez said, “Are you serious?” “Yeah,” Mr. Johnson said. “You heard it first,” Mr. Valdez said to the camera.
St Louis’ WHSL turns to UPN
Michael Roberts, chairman of the diversified Roberts Cos., confirmed last week that WHSL-TV, the full-power St. Louis station launched in 1989 by him and his brother Steven as an affiliate of the Home Shopping Network, will become a UPN affiliate in March 2003. The switch will give UPN a primary affiliate in each of the top 50 markets. Currently UPN’s “WWF Smackdown!” and “Star Trek: Voyager” are shown out of pattern on KPLR-TV, the WB station owned by Acme Communications, in which the Roberts Cos. is a major stockholder. Univision will continue to have the 45 percent nonvoting stake in the fully automated WHSL that it has had since acquiring USA Broadcasting.
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.