HEADLINE: WTKR OFFERS EARLIER COVERAGE OF LOCAL NEWS
By DAVID NICHOLSON Daily Press
At the New York Times, the motto is "all the news that's fit to print." This column prints all the news that fits. Some weeks, there's so much going on that it's hard to find the space. The new year has started with a broadcast bang.
WTKR'S NEW NEWS. WTKR-TV, Channel 3, will launch a 4:30 p.m. newscast beginning Monday. The new program will be anchored by Tom Randles, with Jim Hale on sports and weatherman Duane Harding. The anchor lineup for WTKR's 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts will stay the same. The station is hoping its first-of-the-evening news will give it an advantage in the market, particularly with major stories that break during the day. "It's an alternative for people who don't want to watch talk shows," says WTKR News Director Barbara Hamm. "This will be one more opportunity for us to bring local news to them."
FIRINGS. Benchmark Communications has axed several on-air personalities at two of its stations, WLTY-FM (95.7) and WTAR-AM (790).
WARNER BROS. ARRIVES. Independent station WVBT-TV, Channel 43, in Virginia Beach has given up its affiliation with the Home Shopping Network and signed on with the newly formed Warner Bros. network. The station is carried on Newport News Cablevision's Channel 17. Each Wednesday, Warner Bros. will provide two hours of comedy programming in the 8-to-10 p.m. slot. The network gradually will increase its hours of programming in subsequent years. Here's the lineup, which begins this week:
The rest of the station's programming is being developed by WAVY-TV, Channel 10, under an agreement signed between the two stations. WAVY pays a fee to WVBT, but sells the station's advertising, says WAVY Promotions Director Mike Mastrullo. The WAVY-generated lineup will include children's shows, situation comedies, movies, CIAA sports events and some replay of WAVY shows, says General Manager Lyle Banks. Programming should be in place by the first week in February. WVBT's new programming may give it more leverage to be carried by other Peninsula cable companies. WVBT has "must-carry" status as a local independent, but it competed with other shopping channels cable systems already carry.
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