Posted 28 Apr 2011 — by Michigan Media Category Lansing
Dish Network may remove WSYM (FOX 47) from their channel lineup in Lansing because of a retransmission dispute between WSYM parent company Journal Broadcast Group and Dish Network.
Dish Network could lose local stations in nine markets at midnight tonight if the satcaster doesn’t sign a new programming pact with the Journal Broadcast Group.
The two sides are battling over carriage rates in the new agreement. Journal Broadcast Group CEO Steve Smith tells NBC 26 in Green Bay, one of the stations affected, that negotiations are up in the air.
“We have granted an extension to that contract, so that Dish can keep our television stations on their system,” said Steve Smith, Chairman and CEO of Journal. “We don’t know if they’re going to accept that extension, so that’s the question. Are we going to be on the Dish Network after Thursday? We don’t know. We hope so.”
Veteran news anchor Suzanne Geha has been missing from LIN Media’s WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids for several weeks. Her biography is no longer listed on the station’s staff bios page. A cached version of her bio is still available thanks to Google. Did Suzanne Geha leave WOOD-TV?
Geha’s quiet disappearance from WOOD-TV coincides with Judy Markee’s announced departure from WWMT. Markee, another veteran news anchor in the West Michigan TV market, will leave WWMT at the end of May after 22 years with the station.
Could Geha resurface at WWMT as Markee’s replacement? WWMT has a history of hiring former WOOD-TV staffers, including Tom Van Howe. Van Howe produces a weekly commentary segment called “Tom’s Corner,” which airs every Thursday during the 5:30 p.m. newscast on WWMT.
Update: WOOD-TV issued a press release about Geha’s departure:
April 20, 2011
Suzanne Geha is no longer with WOOD TV8. We thank her for her many years of commitment and we wish her all the best.
Effective immediately, Susan Shaw and Brian Sterling will be our evening and late night anchor team. Brett Thomas and Emily Linnert will continue on Daybreak and the Noon News.
WOOD TV8 will continue to provide the best breaking news, investigative reports and severe weather coverage in West Michigan.
Freedom CBS affiliate WWMT in Kalamazoo is now broadcasting local news in high definition. The first HD newscast aired on Saturday at 6:00 PM. New on-screen graphics have accompanied the move to HD.
WWMT is the second TV station in the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek market that broadcasts local news in high definition. Tribune FOX affiliate WXMI first launched HD newscasts in April 2009.
LIN Media NBC affiliate WOOD-TV and Gannett ABC affiliate WZZM currently broadcast local news in standard definition widescreen. WOOD-TV and WZZM have not publicly announced plans to upgrade their news operations.
Posted 15 Apr 2011 — by Michigan Media Category Detroit
Post-Newsweek’s WDIV in Detroit was evacuated last night after a suspicious package was found in the station’s foyer.
Police and firefighters spent hours Thursday at the WDIV-TV studios downtown, responding to a report of a suspicious package that temporarily forced the station off the air for its 11 p.m. news broadcast.
Anchor Devin Scillian was posting tweets from a bus where staff had been evacuated.
“Very odd trying to figure out a newscast right now … No access to the newsroom or studio,” he tweeted around 10:30 p.m. “This is a new one.”
The all-clear was issued after 11:15 p.m., when Channel 4 began to broadcast again. No injuries were reported.
Meredith is partnering with WorldNow for its 12 local broadcast web sites, including WNEM in Bay City. WorldNow plans to relaunch Meredith’s local web sites in June.
Meredith Local Media is partnering with web solutions outfit WorldNow to provide its 12 sites with “a suite of online services including web publishing, video, mobile, sales support and national editorial content,” the two companies said in a statement.
WorldNow had supplied web services for Meredith years ago, before the two parted ways.
“Meredith is very focused on expanding its digital footprint, and the WorldNow team offers robust products to support those priorities,” said Steve Schwaid, Meredith Local Media Group vice president of digital content. “Additionally, WorldNow has built strong social media applications which are very impressive.”
Posted 07 Apr 2011 — by Michigan Media Category Marquette
Marquette residents may soon have another choice for local news. Nexstar Broadcasting plans to launch local news at WJMN in Marquette after the group closes on its acquisition of the station.
Nexstar plans to launch local news at WJMN Marquette (MI) after the group closes on its acquisition of it and WFRV Green Bay, says president and CEO Perry Sook.
WJMN is run as a satellite station out of WFRV and rebroadcasts the Green Bay station’s programming. A skeleton crew, comprised of a salesperson and an engineer, works out of Marquette.
“We’ve found ways to make a lot of money on news in markets that size,” says Sook. “We plan to develop a separate news presence and sales staff; local news is definitely a part of the future for that station.”
Perry Kidder is president and general manager of WFRV and WJMN. He’s run the stations since 1992.
Posted 07 Apr 2011 — by Michigan Media Category Marquette
Nexstar will acquire WFRV Green Bay and its semi-satellite station WJMN Marquette from Liberty Media for $20 million.
Nexstar Broadcasting Group has agreed to acquire WFRV Green Bay and WJMN Marquette from an affiliate of Liberty Media Corporation for $20 million. Both are CBS affiliates. The acquisition will increase Nexstar’s CBS contingent to 13 stations and expand to 65 the number of stations either owned or operated by the group.
The deal includes $17.5 million of cash, which Nexstar intends to finance through borrowings under its senior credit facility, and Nexstar stock valued at $2.5 million to an affiliate of Liberty Media Corporation.
“The acquisition of WFRV and WJMN highlights Nexstar’s role in the industry as a leading consolidator of stations in mid-sized markets through accretive transactions,” said Perry Sook, Nexstar president and CEO. “The acquisition allows the company to expand and diversify its station portfolio and presents a new opportunity for the Company to leverage its intellectual capital and operating management. In addition, entering Wisconsin and Michigan represents a natural complement to our existing Midwest operations.”