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May 27, 2002  •  Post A Comment

WBBM breaks Palatine Massacre story
On May 16 CBS-owned WBBM-TV in Chicago broke the story that police would arrest two suspects in the unsolved 1993 massacre of seven people at Brown’s Chicken in the suburb of Palatine, Ill. The victims were forced into the cooler of the restaurant and either were shot execution-style or had their throats slit. WBBM anchor Linda MacLennan got a tip that police were close to solving the case, and the station spent the first nine minutes of its 10 p.m. newscast that night with team coverage. The next day, the city’s newspapers ran the story. The police had frozen half-eaten chicken taken from the crime scene and recently were able to use modern technology to render a DNA sample linking the suspects to the crime. The suspects both confessed to the crime, saying they did it for the thrill. It is the biggest story broken at WBBM since News Director Craig Hume joined the station in October 2000. “We spent a lot of time reformatting all of our newscasts, and we have been placing great emphasis on breaking news and enterprise reporting, and this story is a result of the renewed effort we’ve placed on enterprise reporting,” Mr. Hume said.
WFAA, KXAS win Dallas races
For May sweeps, Belo-owned ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas won the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news race, with a strong 8.4 Nielsen Media Research rating and 18 share at 5 p.m. NBC-owned KXAS-TV came in second with a 5.3/11. WFAA also came in No. 1 at 6 p.m. with a 9.6/18 vs. KXAS’s 6.4/12. The big surprise in the market was that KXAS came in No. 1 in the 10 p.m. late news race for the first time in 15 years. For Monday through Friday, KXAS pulled down an 11.7/18, while WFAA scored an 11.3/18. For Monday through Sunday, KXAS posted an 11.0/18, while WFAA came in with a 10.9/17.
In other Dallas news, CBS-owned KTVT-TV announced that John Miller, a veteran of the market, will be the station’s news director. He succeeds Linda Levy, who will become the news director of Infinity-owned radio station KRLD-AM.
KCOP-TV newscast moving to 11 p.m.
UPN affiliate KCOP-TV, Los Angeles, will no longer compete against the 10 p.m. newscast of its Fox-owned duopoly sister station, Fox affiliate KTTV. On June 3, KCOP will move its 10 p.m. newscast to 11 p.m. In its place, KCOP will air syndicated off-network shows “Seinfeld” at 10 p.m. and “Frasier” at 10:30 p.m. The move will put KCOP’s newscast head to head against newscasts from KNBC-TV, KCBS-TV and KABC-TV. The move is seen as counterprogramming, with the comedies serving as a lead-in for the 11 p.m. newscast.
CBS re-signs WTVF, KLAS
CBS has signed new long-term affiliation agreements with Landmark Communications for WTVF-TV, Nashville, and KLAS-TV, Las Vegas. “It’s a real privilege to be partnered with Landmark Communications in these two important markets,” said Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS. “CBS has a solid reputation with Landmark-one that’s rooted in mutual respect and shared objectives.” CBS and its affiliates are gearing up to attend this week’s CBS affiliate meeting in Las Vegas. Peter Schruth, president of CBS affiliate relations, said attendance will be up from last year. CBS is the only network to hold a full-scale affiliate meeting this year. Mr. Schruth said UPN will hold regional meetings with its affiliates in July.
Affiliation swap in Minneapolis
The Fox-owned duopoly in Minneapolis will combine operations under one roof and swap affiliations. UPN affiliate KMSP-TV will become a Fox station, and Fox`s WFTC-TV will become a UPN affiliate. The stations will provide newscasts in two time periods, 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., seven days a week.