Both Knoxville, Tenn., stations will be upgrading to high definition around May 1, with Gannett’s WBIR supplying morning, evening and weekend broadcasts for Raycom’s Fox affil WTNZ.
Gannett Co.’s NBC affiliate WBIR Knoxville, Tenn. (DMA 59), has entered into an agreement to provide news programming to Raycom’s Fox affiliate in the market, WTNZ. WBIR will produce two hours of additional news programming that will air daily Monday-Friday, 7 to 9 a.m., and expand The Fox 43 10 O’clock News to a full hour Monday-Friday, at 10-11 p.m. WBIR will also produce original newscasts Saturdays and Sundays 10-10:30 p.m.
With this agreement, WBIR will now be producing nine hours of local programming daily and will increase staffing. WTNZ will be solely responsible for sales of the advertising inventory within this news programming that airs on FOX43.
“Our 9-year partnership with [Young Broadcasting’s ABC affiliate] WATE has been very beneficial for both stations and the communities we serve,” said John Hayes, WTNZ VP-GM. “The new agreement with WBIR gives us more options; most importantly the opportunity to super-serve the market with a local morning news show and expanded news at 10. Partnering with the largest news producer in the market creates a win-win for everyone, most importantly our viewers who have come to expect ‘Something for Everyone’.”
In conjunction with this additional programming, both WTNZ and WBIR will make the upgrade to high-definition news broadcasts. To do this, WBIR will invest in new high-definition cameras, equipment and other upgrades. High-definition transmission of this news programming is scheduled to debut around May 1.