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Feb 25, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Miami’s WTVJ launches 4 p.m. newscast
NBC-owned WTVJ-TV, Miami, is scheduled Monday to launch the market’s only 4 p.m. newscast-a one-hour broadcast that will also be the market’s only news show anchored by three people: Jackie Nespral, Trina Robinson and Michael Williams. Although the newscast will initially emanate from the WTVJ Miramar studio, it will later be co-anchored from the recently opened studio at the American Airlines Arena overlooking Biscayne Bay, depending on the news of the day, giving the telecast a “Today” show feel. WTVJ Vice President of News Tim Geraghty said since the station is broadcast on Channel 6, its frequency can also be received at 87.7 MHz on the FM band, and listeners can catch the news as they are driving home. “The idea behind doing the 4 p.m. was to give South Florida some areas of news they haven’t seen in the past, some longer segments, in-depth commentary using our own in-house experts, a first look at the weather using our Doppler radar,” Mr. Geraghty said.
Orioles assembling their own network
Following the lead of teams in Boston and New York, Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles are getting into the television business. The team is creating the Orioles Television Network, which will produce, sell ads for and market Orioles games to CBS-owned WJZ-TV, Baltimore, WB affiliate WNUV-TV, Baltimore, and WB affiliate WBDC-TV, Washington, beginning this season. Comcast SportsNet had been producing the over-the-air games as well as the games carried on Comcast cable systems.
While Comcast Corp. still has rights to 85 games, 65 of which will be shown over the air, the Orioles’ aim is to reclaim all of the team’s cable and broadcast rights within five years and create a regional sports network on the order of Boston-based New England Sports Network. Under the arrangement with Comcast, stations had between six and 15 spots per game to sell. But from now on, the Orioles will pay stations for those spots and instead sell the time themselves. Comcast will retain its spots.
WNBC revives `We’re 4 N.Y.’ campaign
During the 1996 Olympics, WNBC-TV, New York, increased its viewership via a major campaign of three-minute promos introducing New York viewers to its live Doppler 4000 weather radar system. And during the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the station produced promos featuring Ray Charles singing “America” that aired on some NBC stations around the country. WNBC General Manager Dennis Swanson, who is co-chair of NBC Olympics, thought it would be a good idea to revive the station’s 1992 “We’re 4 New York” promo campaign saluting the city. The music video spots feature WNBC’s main anchor talent, including Chuck Scarborough, Sue Simmons and veteran political reporter Gabe Pressman. The song-with the refrain “We’re 4 New York”-was sung in the original campaign by the Boys Choir of Harlem; in the new promos, the tune is sung under the Brooklyn Bridge by the current Boys Choir. NBC Creative Services Director David Hyman said he has received requests for copies of the promos from viewers. “People are so happy that we brought it back, and obviously it has far greater meaning after Sept. 11,” Mr. Hyman said.
Thomas has dual duties at WRAZ
Fox affiliate WRAZ-TV, Raleigh, N.C., just hired Miriam Thomas, who was an anchor across town at ABC-owned WTVD-TV. Ms. Thomas will have an interesting role at WRAZ; she will anchor the 10 p.m. newscast Sunday through Thursday and will serve as public affairs director as well. Public affairs director is usually a separate position, but since the station had no one in that role, it seemed a logical fit for Ms. Thomas to wear both hats, said Andrea Parquet-Taylor, who is news director at WRAZ and sister station CBS affiliate WRAL-TV. Ms. Thomas also will make public service announcements and community appearances for station-sponsored events and will host a public affairs program.