One of the unintended or unimagined consequences of broadcasting’s conversion to digital in 2009 is that the networks can play off one affiliate against another because there is no longer a shortage of broadcast outlets in any market. That’s apparently what happened in Tri-Cities where ABC dumped WKPT for Media General’s WJHL.
It will air on a subchannel of WJHL, its CBS affiliate in the Tennessee-Virginia market. The network had been on Holston Valley Broadcasting’s WKPT.
After ending production of its own newscasts in 2002, the ABC affiliate in Tri-Cities, Va.-Tenn., this month got back into the local news business. With an investment of $250,000 and 13 new hires, News Director-Anchor Jim Bailey and his team on March 4 began producing two half-hour newscasts a day. Shown on the revived ABC 19 News set are Bailey and co-anchor Lizz Marrs.
The ABC affiliate in Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va., this week launched half-hour newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m., the first broadcasts produced in-house since 2008. The station has spent about $250,000 to rebuild its news department and has added eight fulltime and three part-time staffers, HD cameras and other gear.