NBC Planning To Launch O&O In Boston

The new station would start on Jan. 1, 2017, when NBC's current affiliation with Ed Ansin's WHDH is set to expire."We so look forward to delivering Boston area viewers the best local news, weather and information along with the NBC news, sports, primetime and latenight programming they already know and enjoy," says NBC Owned TV Stations President Valari Staab in a memo to employees.

NBC Owned Television Stations will launch its own station in Boston on Jan. 1, 2017, when NBC’s current affiliation with Ed Ansin’s WHDH is due to expire.

Valari Staab, president of the network station group, revealed the plans in a memo to employees today.

“This will be the 12th NBC station in our group, following last year’s launch of NBC Puerto Rico, which was station No. 11,” the memo says.

“We so look forward to delivering Boston area viewers the best local news, weather and information along with the NBC news, sports, primetime and late night programming they already know and enjoy.”

The Staab memo points out that NBC already has a large presence in the nation’s eighth largest TV market with Telemundo’s Spanish-language WNEU and NECN, a 24/7 cable news network.

With heavy investments in the two outlets, the memo says, “we have built a very strong news organization in the Boston market — both from a personnel and facilities perspective — which puts us in a great position to launch an NBC-owned station locally.


“Over the next year, we will be ramping up to prepare for the launch of our new station, including adding significantly to our local team.”

“Mike St. Peter, general Manager of NECN and Telemundo Boston, will lead our new NBC station as president, NBC Boston, NECN and Telemundo Boston,” the memo says.

Unclear is what broadcast channel the new O&O will use. One option is to double up on WNEU, according to a source familiar with the goings-on in Boston.

In addition to WHDH, the current NBC affiliate, Ed Ansin also owns the market’s CW affiliate, WLVI.

NBC attempted to acquire one of the two stations, but was rebuffed by Ansin, the source said.

The Staab memo says NBC has been acquiring programming for the new station, including NBCU’s new syndicated variety show, Harry, with host Harry Connick Jr. and Access Hollywood, another NBCU offering.

Comments (20)

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Bo Inscho says:

January 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Who edits your stuff? Subhead claims that the ABC affiliation is due to expire. Great journalism.

    Bill Evans says:

    January 7, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Sadly, not a day goes “buy” when “their” isn’t a typo or grammitcal error on a graphic, crawls, or ticker. Even in new books you’ll find typos galore. I remember reading books and never finding an error. I can only attribute it to the Twitter-sphere where spelling doesn’t matter anymore.

megan dickey says:

January 7, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Welcome to letting the marketplace rule itself! Comcast will soon take over the world. And independent owners like Mr. Ansin will be squeezed out against media giants like Comcast. Fewer voices broadcasting the news, fewer owners and larger corporations. The local TV business ownership is becoming like Citigroup! Expand and absorb or die!

Liz Sidoti and Bob Lewis says:

January 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Networks are Death Stars. ABC kills it 46-year affiliate in Johnson City-Bristol-Kingsport to go to a D2 with the CBS station in the market. Now, Ed Ansin, a leader in our business, is screwed by Comcast-NBCU. Who’s next? Networks have no loyalty or sense of honor”. It’s all about their millions. Screw the families that built their nationwide systems. May the force kill the Big Four networks.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    January 7, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Who’s next? NBC in Indianapolis to MG or whatever their ownership ends up as.

    John Bagwell says:

    January 7, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    That will be interesting. When is NBC’s contract up with WTHR?

kendra campbell says:

January 7, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Now WHDH can expand their screaming local tabloid “news” to 100 hours a week.

Cassie Macker says:

January 7, 2016 at 5:02 pm

In the steam age of TV, (the 1950s) NBC under its then ownership pulled the same maneuver on then Westinghouse in Boston. Swap your Philadelphia station with our Cleveland, a smaller and less desirable market, or you lose NBC at your Boston station. Westinghouse had to agree but spent a decade in litigation which ended up reversing the deal, and getting their Philadelphia station back. Don McGannon of Westinghouse and his lawyer John Lane didn’t like guns to their head, who does, but they had the courage (and money) to fight back. Big always wins against small unless somebody fights back. Has anyone noticed that the more things change the more they stay the same?

Brad Dann says:

January 7, 2016 at 5:59 pm

This is a arrogant and stupid move by Comcast. This will bring every public interest group to the FCC and Congress demand that this be reversed. What does Comcast really have to gain from an O&O in Boston? ANytime COmcast needs approval for any acquisition this will come up and Ansin will fight it tooth and nail like Westinghouse did way back when. They may win tactically, but the strategic loss will cost more (far more) in the long run

    Andrea Rader says:

    January 7, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    If the comment section of the Boston Globe is any indication, Comcast assumption of the NBC affiliation and the demise of Ansin’s WHDH is being welcomed with open arms. There won’t be any public outcry like what happened with Market Basket.

Sean Smith says:

January 7, 2016 at 8:53 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with you, DC Insider. The mom-and-pop TV stations and groups built the networks back in the day… made them what they are today. The problem is, the greedy grandsons and granddaughters of those mom-and-pops are now running the networks, and they don’t care anything about putting their grandmom-and-grandpop stations off the air so they can make big bucks. I welcome the day when everybody gets their news shows and their entertainment shows off mobile devices and the internet. Put those money-grubbing networks out of business. Nothing would please me more than to know that William S. Paley is tossing in his grave over that.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    January 8, 2016 at 4:04 am

    i suppose you do not go to Lowes or Home Depot. Only go to locally owned Restaurants. Only shop in the Farmers Market. Only purchase gas from the local independent no name gas station. Don’t use a wireless company as they were gobbled up by the big 4. I could go on and one. Only watch the local LPTV station. I could go on and on. America became homogeneous several decades ago.

Liz Sidoti and Bob Lewis says:

January 8, 2016 at 5:15 pm

This is totally different. None of your examples come with public interest obligations. The networks are oligopolies that work in concert through signaling behaviors to kill the affiliates once they have used them up. This is predatory and the networks eat their young.. What is worse is that the FCC allows huge cable mergers and limits broadcasters. The market cap for all public company TV groups combined is less than AT&T. Guess Wheeler is a petulant boy who allows the networks this freedom to hurt or kill their affiliates. Cable boy to the rescue!

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