Raycom will buy Calkins’ WWSB Sarasota and WTXL Tallahassee, both Florida, while Raycom duopoly partner American Spirit Media will buy WAAY Huntsville, Ala., which will presumably be operated in tandem with Raycom’s Huntsville NBC affiliate, WAFF. “We came to this decision reluctantly and after a long period of deliberation,” Calkins CEO Mark Contreras says in a memo to employees.
Calkins Media and its Chief Digital Officer Guy Tasaka have retooled its Amazon Fire OTT app to allow for more monetization and discovery opportunities. It has also overhauled its mobile app at WWSB Tampa, Fla., resulting in a 900% increase in video views. The revamped version has since been rolled out at Calkins’ WAAY Huntsville, Ala., and WTXL Tallahassee, Fla.
The former president of Cowles California Media will take over leadership of Southern Broadcast Corp.’s ABC affiliate in Huntsville-Decatur-Florence, Ala., next month.
He’s stepping down from the ABC affiliate in Huntsville, Ala., and a 40-year career in journalism to become director of development at the Huntsville Botanical Garden.
The GM of WWSB Sarsota adds oversight of the company’s other two stations to his portfolio.
WAAY Huntsville, Ala. is proving that newscasts can be done in HD on a budget. Using a TriCaster 850 from NewTek the Calkins Media station is producing five and a half hours of news daily across two stations in DMA 79.