DMA 78: TOLEDO, OH

WNWO News Production Moving To WSBT

Sinclair says all of the local news at its Toledo, Ohio, NBC affiliate “will continue to be covered by local reporters and will be produced in Toledo,” but the technical aspects of the newscast will be handled by staff at Sinclair’s WSBT South Bend, Ind., which will also take over master control. The Toledo Blade reports the move will result in layoffs.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is transferring news production for its NBC affiliate WNWO Toledo, Ohio (DMA 78), to its WSBT South Bend, Ind., “to improve both the news product and production efficiencies,” the company said today.

The company’s announcement made no mention of layoffs, but the Toledo Blade reported several sources told it the move would result in some: “Station employees are learning throughout today, sources said, whether they will keep their jobs…. It is not known how many employees will be laid off,” the Blade said.

Sinclair stressed that all of the local news content “will continue to be covered by local reporters and will be produced in Toledo,” but the technical aspects of the newscast will be handled by staff at Sinclair’s WSBT. The master control for WNWO by which content is readied for broadcast and commercials are inserted, will also be handled out of South Bend.

“Sinclair and WNWO remain committed to delivering a strong local news product in Toledo and viewers will still find local news in the morning, evening and late night on WNWO, plus online at nbc24.com,” the company’s announcement said. “In addition to the Toledo news staff producing local content, the station will continue to benefit from regional, national and international content produced by the Sinclair network of five stations in Ohio and southern Michigan and a bureau in Washington, D.C.”

Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s VP of news, said: “Sinclair’s investments in technology have made it possible for newscasts to be produced in a more efficient fashion and allow us to continue to provide local news to the community which in the past would not have been possible.

“WNWO will continue to have journalists on the Toledo streets every day gathering news and breaking stories. WNWO also understands the importance of local weather and will have a staff of meteorologists and the most up-to-date weather system in Toledo. WNWO appreciates the community support during the past 50 years and will remain a strong voice in Toledo and committed to our local communities.”

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Comments (3)

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Angie McClimon says:

November 29, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Sinclair has made dreadful decisions for it’s news stations (“NewsCentral” ring a bell?). This is just another notch on the bedpost of dumbass decisions.

Kristina Veltri says:

November 29, 2016 at 6:07 pm

I would usually say this is a terrible decision, but the writing has been on the wall with WNWO; Sinclair couldn’t turn it around, as did the other owners in the past. It’s a cursed station that’s been cursed since the days of the Overmeyer Network and it was ran out of a mobile trailer. Everyone else watches 11 and 13, and a quality NBC affiliate is available through WDIV on some cable systems and over-the-air easily.

When your station is so cursed an eight-month break off the dominant local cable system to try and get some more retrans cash doesn’t even get any viewer reaction, there’s no hope for that news department. If this doesn’t work, it won’t take much for Sinclair to cash out, spectrum bait it, and sell out the NBC affiliation to 11 or 13 and move on from Toledo.

Andrea Rader says:

December 7, 2016 at 2:03 am

Sinclair is also getting grief from the usual suspects about their news startup in Wilkes-Barre which is also being hubbed out of South Bend. Currently their news is outsourced to the market’s NBC affiliate, so the startup will actually increase the number of “voices” in the market for local news.


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