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.