Citadel Communications has been chosen to be the next owner of Providence ABC-affil WLNE. The New York-based company submitted a bid of $4 million last month, which was also selected as the stalking horse bid for the auction. Citadel will assume control of the station on May 1st, and could be approved by the FCC by June 1st.
ABC has expressed approval of the sale and has specified that they will renew the contract when it expires at the end of the month. As you may have heard, ABC had considered a non-renewal if the bidder did not meet their standards. That would have meant that ABC6 would have to pull ABC branding from their station and website, abc6.com.
In an interview with the CEO of Citadel Communications, the intent to make a speedy and orderly transition to high-definition newscasts was revealed. All of Citadel’s other properties are broadcasting in HD currently, so the move makes sense from a standardization point of view.
A station insider at channel 6 has told btvn that employees reacted positively to the news and that the new ownership will benefit the station.
Joel Cheatwood, dubbed the “nation’s most controversial news director” and creator of the 7 News format, is reportedly jumping ship to cable firebrand Glenn Beck’s media company.
According to MediaBistro’s TVNewser, Fox News will not be renewing Cheatwood’s nearly $700,000 per year contract. Beck has been with FNC since 2007. Prior to that, he had stints at CNN, KYW-TV, WCBS, WHDH, and WSVN.
Emily Riemer is on the move to Boston. The now-former political reporter at Columbus, O.H.’s ABC-affil WSYX will be heading to WCVB to co-anchor the weekend edition of NewsCenter5 Eyeopener with Steve Lacy.
According to TVSpy, Riemer built quite a reputation in Columbus, even landing an interview with President Obama last year. In addition to her new anchoring role at Channel 5, Riemer will also cover general assignment reporting, leaving her former beat in Ohio. Returning to Boston is coming full-circle for Riemer, who began her career as an intern at WCVB while in college.
As we reported earlier, former weekend Eye co-anchor Shiba Russell left WCVB for an anchor job at NBC flagship WNBC. Reimer begins at NewsCenter5 on March 26th. Incidentally, crosstown rival and 7 News Today in New England co-anchor Anne Allred also worked at WSYX.
WLNE’s 7 p.m. newscast has been relegated to backup status as of this Tuesday. On that night, the early-prime newscast was shelved in favor of a thirty minute infomercial for the GenieBra. According to TVSpy, the station made the move to bump the newscast whenever they can sell the space. This means that in the wake of higher revenues from media companies, viewers in Providence can expect to see many more ads and far fewer broadcasts before primetime begins at 8 p.m.
ABC6, which will be auctioned off next week, has been for sale since late last year. Its owner, Global Broadcasting, purchased the station in 2007 for $14 million. Since then, the ABC-affil has struggled to make headway in Providence ratings.
Justine Waldman, a former freelance reporter at 7 News, is headed to San Francisco to anchor morning news on KRON. Waldman, who had been freelancing at 7 for a brief stint, will go head-to-head with former-Fox 25er Frank Mallicoat, who jumped to mornings on crosstown rival KPIX.
KRON 4 News, an NBC affiliate-turned-MyNetworkTV outlet, has been the bottom-feeder in the market for little under a decade. Prior to an ownership change in 2000, the station was the highest-rated station in the market. However, due to a breakdown in negotiations with NBC, the network purchased their own station, leaving KRON as an independent. As a result, in 2009, the station’s owner filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is still ongoing. Most notably, KRON has been a revolving door of talent since a change to one-man-band reporting, a system where the reporter shoots and produces their own stories.
Waldman will switch between anchoring and reporting for the duration of the station’s seven hour (4-11 a.m.) newscast. Incidentally, KRON 4 primary anchor Pam Moore was the noon anchor at WBZ for a brief period in the late 1980s until early 1991.
Ron Sanders, a veteran reporter at WBZ and TV38, is out of a job after his contract was not renewed. According to The Boston Herald, Sanders’ contract was up for renewal this year. CBS brass wanted him to move to a rotating shift at 4′s bureau in Manchester, New Hampshire, but Sanders wanted no part of it.
Late last year, Sanders was inducted into the Silver Circle because of his journalism experience. Prior to his thirteen years at WBZ, Sanders was at WHDH.
Channel 4 has been somewhat of a revolving door as of late, sending scores of longtime reporters out the door. Most recently, the station has begun hiring less-experienced, less-expensive reporters, including now-former-Hartford reporter Diana Perez.
Ro Dooley Webster, spokeswoman for CBS’ Boston cluster, declined to comment, citing company policy not to comment on personnel changes.
Taryn Winter Brill has been spotted on CBS’ The Early Show. According to The Boston Herald, Winter Brill made her debut on the low-rated breakfast program this past Monday. She is reportedly freelancing with the program, which is fresh off of yet another revamp. As we reported earlier, Winter Brill exited the program after only three weeks.
On the subject of The Morning Show on NECN, Erick Weber finally joined the regional network this week. No word yet on who will replace Winter Brill, however.
WBZ has hired a new face from Connecticut. Diana Perez has been with Hartford’s WVIT for the past thirty months and will make the move up to Boston very soon. Her last day at NBC Connecticut was last week.
An email to her colleagues from March 3rd was obtained by btvn:
“My last day is tomorrow. So, it is with a heavy heart that I write this e-mail.
I’d like to start by thanking each and everyone of you for all of your help over the last 2 1/2 years. The stories just don’t get done unless I have great guys and gals like you in my corner.
I’m off to the CBS station in Boston WBZ-TV. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.
This business is funny and there’s no telling where I might end up in a few years… so dont forget about me!”
Perez’s first day at channel 4 has not been disclosed yet.
ShootingStar Broadcasting has sold Derry, New Hampshire-based WZMY to Carlisle One Media. MyTV New England, which had been owned by ShootingStar since 2004, made the announcement last week.
Carlisle One Media, based in New Hampshire, is run by former-Senate candidate Bill Binnie. He has also purchased three other stations in New Hampshire, all of them low-power. Carlisle One plans to change the call sign to WBIN and begin introducing locally-produced programming in the summer. Furthermore, he plans to keep the affiliations with both MyNetworkTV and Universal Sports Network.
“Fox and NBC Sports are great partners and we are looking forward to working with them,” Binnie remarked. “In addition, we are excited to be the exclusive provider of Universal Sports in the greater Boston market. We are committed to working hard to fully realize the unique potential of this station in the coming years.”
The station was purchased for $28 million in 2004 by ShootingStar Broadcasting. The station soon relaunched as MyTV, unrelated to the current network. When Fox announced the creation of MyNetworkTV, WZMY considered a lawsuit but ultimately joined the network in late-2006. After letting longtime meteorologist Al Kaprelian go, the station was put under agreement to be managed by New Age Media. The state of that agreement is yet to be known.
Our friends at TVSpy and IDOPromoz have posted an interesting comparison about two TV ads. The first one, from NewsCenter5, aired earlier this year about Sean Kelly going to report from the middle east. More recently, a TV station in South Carolina decided to make their own promo, with jarring results. The video above shows a comparison of the two ads side-by-side, and the similarities are undeniable.
Interestingly enough, the station in question is owned by Media General, which also owns WJAR in Providence.