Beginning tomorrow, Granite’s Syracuse, N.Y., station, WTVH, will be operated from the studios of WSTM, which is owned by Barrington. In Peoria, Ill., the Barrington station, WHOI, will be operated from the studios of Granite’s WEEK.
Granite Broadcasting Corp. and Barrington Broadcasting Group announced today that, effective tomorrow, they will jointly operate television stations in the Syracuse, N.Y. (DMA 81) and Peoria, Ill. (DMA 116), markets under joint sales and shared services agreements).
In Syracuse, the Granite station, WTVH, will be operated from the studios of WSTM, which is owned by Barrington. In Peoria, the Barrington station, WHOI, will be operated from the studios of Granite’s WEEK.
Under the terms of the agreements, the operating station will provide advertising, sales, promotion, administrative services and selected programming to the other station. The companies said the arrangement “will create a better and more efficient operation, which will enhance these outstanding local television stations.”
In making this announcement, Granite Broadcasting’s Chief Executive Officer Don Cornwell said: “This arrangement is an important step in the implementation of Granite’s strategic vision to capitalize on our core strength of operating leading local stations in the nation’s mid-size markets. It provides opportunities for substantial operating efficiencies by allowing us to use our existing infrastructure to expand the breadth of local news and services provided to the viewers of Central New York and Illinois, while enhancing the revenue and profitability of both stations.”
Barrington Chief Executive Officer Jim Yager said: “We are delighted to be working with a forward-thinking company like Granite. Together, our companies and stations will focus our combined resources on making these great stations more efficient, becoming even better community citizens and, at the same time, providing measurable benefits for our viewers.”
One of the chief advantages of operating these stations under the agreements, the companies said, will be the ability to offer local and national news, as well as programming of community interest in new and varied time periods, giving viewers greater opportunity to watch at their convenience.
Granite and Barrington added: “The Granite and Barrington plan will fully develop this opportunity, offering local newscasts expanded in both breadth and amount. Specifically, the stations will provide newscasts in time periods not currently programmed with local news and extend local news to other time periods, allowing viewers more access to local reports and information. Granite and Barrington also plan to improve the emergency weather forecasting and daily forecasting by bringing the latest and best technology to both stations.”
Under the terms of the JSA and SSA, Granite and Barrington expect to realize a number of expense efficiencies through the combining of resources and the reduction of some staff positions. Affected employees will receive “a generous severance package and extensive job placement assistance will be offered at company expense.”