We are used to seeing WSVN steamrolling over its network and giving them the bird in order to do things their own way. It’s kind of accepted, it’s WSVN. But this is more ballsy than anything 7 has done so far.
Basically, WHDH announced in a newscast the other day that they will not air Jay Leno’s new show at 10pm. Instead they’re putting the newscast that usually airs on their CW channel at that time on Leno’s slot on WHDH.
Ed Ansin told the Boston Globe he offered NBC to run Leno at 11pm but the network declined and that not taking advantage of the 10pm slot would be adverse on WHDH’s financial situation! He also says his contract with NBC is unlike that with other stations so he could opt not to air Leno’s new show. Ansin also stated the obvious: “We are already suffering from weak lead-ins”. WFXT the FOX-owned affiliate, which like WSVN in South Florida, is dong very well with their 10pm newscast especially thanks to Idol as lead-in is trouncing Sunbeam’s CW News at 10 by huge margins.
NBC brass on their part are livid. The Boston papers are quoting John Eck chief of NBC TV Network saying that if WHDH goes ahead as planned they will take their affiliation away. And that NBC may use their broadcast license in Boston to launch an NBC-owned station! NBC is counting on Leno to help the network’s sagging ratings. And Boston is the 7th largest TV market in the US.
When NBC announced Leno’s new show will run at 10pm NBC affiliates around the country complained a non-scripted show 5 days a week will hurt their 11pm newscast lead-in and ratings.