NBC assembles Iraq war team for its O&Os
While most local broadcasters have been cagey in providing specific details of plans to cover events in Iraq, NBC’s owned-and-operated station group offered a sneak preview to its plan to pool resources. The station group has assembled a team that includes four on-air reporters to send to the Middle East in early February to provide coverage for all 14 of the group’s O&Os. Crews will likely be based in Qatar and will stay for one-month shifts.
“This is not the Gulf War of 1991,” said Steve Schwaid, VP of news and programming for NBC’s O&Os. NBC is currently training its reporters for biological and chemical warfare. “It’s not practical to send someone from each station. I could have 14 reporters standing next to each other doing the same live shot, but that makes no sense,” he said.
The reporters in the first wave are Conan Nolan from KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, Phil Rogers from WMAQ-TV in Chicago, Steve Handelsman from WRC-TV and NBC Television Stations Division in Washington and Rob Morrison from WNBC-TV in New York. Mr. Morrison will report for the network and specifically for his station WNBC. His pieces will also be available to all the O&Os. He will stay on, but the other three will return after their one-month rotations.
Viacom said it is formulating plans for its stations, including its 16 CBS O&Os, but declined to provide specifics on coverage except to say that local stations may use their discretion. ABC declined to comment on plans for coverage by its 10 O&Os.
Tribune breaks ground on new facility
Tribune Broadcasting will break ground this month on a new weather facility to deliver the latest in weather tools, gizmos and charts to its Chicago-based news outlets. WB affiliate WGN-TV will host the state-of-the-art weather center in its former newsroom, and the center will operate as the brain room for weather coverage at WGN, cable news channel CLTV, The Chicago Tribune and the news outlets’ Web sites.
The consolidation of the weather operations into one facility will enable the news organizations to share data and improve weather coverage, said Tom Skilling, WGN’s lead weatherman. The new facility will host upgraded technology from weather data provider WSI and will provide improved computer graphics, better atmospheric modeling and more historical analysis of weather data, he said. The facility will test in May in preparation to go on-air after the May sweeps.
WPIX translates newscast into Spanish
Starting today, New York’s Tribune-owned WB station WPIX-TV will begin carrying Spanish translation of its 10 p.m. newscast on the second audio program (SAP). The station says it is a first for a “major New York English-language news program” and is driven by the growth in the Hispanic population, which grew nearly 36 percent during the 1990s and is now at about 3.7 million in New York, nearly 19 percent of the DMA. Neither CBS’s WCBS-TV, NBC’s WNBC-TV or ABC’s WABC-TV carry a Spanish translation of their news.
Earnings up at Tribune Co.
Tribune Co. reported that earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2002 were 57 cents, up 58 percent from the period a year ago. For 2002, EPS was $1.87, up 42 percent. Revenues for the television stations in the fourth quarter grew 22 percent to $339 million.
Crumley joins WHNS as VP/general manager
Stan Crumley joined Meredith’s Greenville, S.C., Fox station WHNS-TV last Tuesday as VP and general manager, replacing Ray Mirabella, as part of Meredith chief Kevin O’Brien’s purge of Meredith management. Mr. Crumley most recently served as president and general manager for Media General’s ABC affiliate WSAV-TV in Savannah, Ga.
Jaramillo to report for KTVU
San Francisco’s Fox affiliate Cox-owned KTVU-TV has hired Noreen Jaramillo as a reporter. She most recently worked as an anchor for Fox station KFOX-TV in El Paso, Texas, also a Cox station.
To submit information for Local Listings, please contact Daisy Whitney at email@example.com or 303-777-6864.