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NBC Owned Stations President: WTVJ Was on The Shakiest Ground

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Just a few short years ago WTVJ had ratings so low on some days it was hard to tell whether anyone was watching. The lack of investment by NBC, a myriad of layoffs, and departures of talent before and after the failed takeover by WPLG, and later Comcast, left NBC 6 with a skeleton crew and a lot of broken equipment and a suffering news product.

We heard stories of broken live trucks, we were told they were down to two working live trucks,  and had such an inability to generate content our insiders told us that staffers watched the other stations in town were doing and would copy and rewrite the rundowns and VOs.

In an interview with industry site  TVNewscheck NBC Owned Stations president Valari Staab says WTVJ was “was the one on the shakiest ground”. She credits the renewal of the station to former GM Manny Martinez who ran NBC 6 for more than a year  before Staab transferred him to Telemundo at the end of 2013. She also thinks WTVJ has “one of the prettiest sets in the country.”

Staab says putting back the creative departments, instead of the centralized approach NBC employed before is another reason for the success of WTVJ and the rest of the station group. Along with heavy investment in resources like equipment, facilities, and talent.

Another interesting bit from the interview is that TV Everywhere will launch around June, allowing cable customers to stream the full schedule of NBC-owned stations live on their PCs or mobile devices.

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5 Comments

  1. Comcast acquiring NBC from GE was sorely needed, regardless if some agreed or disagreed with that move from nearly 4 years ago. Under GE ownership… lack of investment in NBC and its O&O stations, incompetent leadership, shows being canceled left and right, and so forth. Some would label Jeff Zucker as modern day Fred Silverman. In a way, NBC on life support… the Summer-Winter Olympic cycles, Sunday Night Football, daytime soap Days Of Our Lives, a handful of news, primetime, and late-night programs managed to keep the peacock network relevant in not so great of times.

    Under Comcast ownership… NBC seems to be a lot more competitive, compared to 6 years ago. Comcast has invested in its O&O stations… WTVJ getting sorely needed set makeover in 2012… KNBC Los Angeles and KXAS Dallas-Fort Worth recently moved into new state-of-the-art broadcast centers in February 2014 and November 2013, respectively. Moving operations are already being planned for KNSD San Diego and WCAU Philadelphia… KNSD will be leaving downtown high rise by late 2016, and WCAU will be moving to new Comcast tower in 2017. I guess Comcast is treating NBC better than GE did. Hoping we’ll find out eventually if Comcast is exploring investing in new facility for WRC DC in the near future.

  2. I’m confused. What does the photo of the woman on NBC 4 news set have to do with WTVJ? In the early days the station was a CBS affiliate. After the big flip-flop shake-up the station got new call letters (WFOR) kept its CBS affiliation and then the old indy WSIX became WTVJ and the new NBC affiliate.

  3. Steve: The station you’re thinking of was originally WCIX-Channel 6, an independent station that was sold to CBS during the late 1980s and began carrying CBS programming. When a mid-1990s transaction resulted in CBS and NBC switching a few things around, WCIX’s signal was switched to Channel 4; the station became WFOR. Then, WTVJ, which had been Channel 4, became Channel 6.
    WTVJ was Florida’s first television station, a CBS affiliate and a longtime ratings champ when Ralph Renick was its primary anchor. NBC bought WTVJ in 1987, and the station switched networks on the air at the beginning of 1989.

  4. Their evening news product is abysmal. Only Trina Robinson is worth keeping. Chirpy Nespral and Little Adam are simply awful.

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