Look at Who has Come A-Courtin

Word out there is that some representatives of Hearst-Argyle Television group have paid a visit to the New York Times Broadcast operations center in Norfolk, Virginia and have also stopped by the NYTimes station there. I would imagine this would be some relatively good news for those who work in the NYTimes Broadcast group and are waiting for the other shoe to drop in the anticipated sale of the stations. Chatting with a friend at the Station DOTR, this person even commented when the planned sale of the group was announced that perhaps they would be lucky enough to be purchased by H-A. That group has about two dozen stations scattered around the country from Orlando to Boston to Sacramento and they apparently know the broadcast business. It’s the second largest owner of NBC affiliates and the largest ABC affiliate group in terms of audience reach. (Their words, not mine). H-A already owns stations in Des Moines, Iowa and Ft. Smith, Arkansas so I guess they’d keep the stronger station in the markets and dump the other. This visit also kind of fits the time frame of what was rumored when the sale was first announced: That the NYTimes wants to have a sale in the works by the end of October and have this thing wrapped up around the first of the year.

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10 Comments on “Look at Who has Come A-Courtin”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    that would definitely be good for WREG. H-A isn’t as good as it used to be but who is? definitely know news and would give 3 the same support if not more. 3 would get a new on air look since all H-A stations use the same gfx and music. IMHO they used to have awesome gfx but recently changed them. look up wcvb and you’ll get an idea.

  2. John Says:

    The folks DOTR are probably breathing a sigh of relief now. The branding changes and so forth that would go along with a change to H.A. ownership *could* hurt them a bit though, I guess we would have to wait and see.

    H.A. is a pretty good company though, certainly leaps and bounds above Sinclair and the others like them.

  3. UPnDC Says:

    Who knows?? Maybe they’ll bring MG back to Memphis from his VP/GM slot in NO at WDSU.

    Stranger things have happened….and who knows Memphis better than Mason? Bert Ellis got him back to Memphis to GM on Union once. Maybe he’d like the view on the river?

  4. Joe Larkins Says:

    Sakes alive: that scenario would chap some serious rear ends among the senior managers DOTR. And I think MG would probably love to try that task on for size especially with New Orleans dropping in market size following Katrina,
    Some great food for thought.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Joe! I work at the Norfolk property and can tell you that there has been nobody from H-A or any other company for that matter, to my knowledge or anyone elses here. I think this is just a rumor someone decided to start.

  6. Joe Larkins Says:

    Perhaps my source isn’t as reliable as I thought.

  7. newsboyarizona Says:

    Well, all you NYTers keep an eye out for late-evening and weekend tours. Sometimes the prospective owners come in and do their due diligence posing as IT consultants (“Just here to check out the AS/400… and the tape machines, the LMS, the Master Control equipment, etc.”). A prospective ND candidate for DOTR came in with the old GM and group pres. on a Sunday once. An IT consultant who was working with us on an automation project recognized the candidate as the ND at another NYT station, so there wasn’t much surprise when his name was announced as our new ND a few days later.

  8. Joe Larkins Says:

    I remember the tour and when the Group President walked in with the mystery man I walked up and introduced myself. The mystery guy was nice and said “nice to meet you” but never gave his name and continued on with the tour of the station. When he became ND he and I developed a great relationship and I now consider him to be one of the top two news directors I worked with DOTR.

  9. AMNewsBoy Says:

    (giggle) I’d say “told ya so”, but that would be admitting that I was making a wild guess. šŸ˜‰

    Seriously, Hearst would be a good fit for 3, but I wonder what would happen with the OKC/FSM-FAY/DSM stations. In OKC and FSM-FAY, the Hearst station is behind… and dumping the old station to buy the “better” station is kinda harsh.

    As for the HATV gfx/music pkg… I think the new gfx (which are about 2 years old now) are an improvement over the old ones — easier to read, and less use of that ugly Bank Gothic type. IMHO.

    Hearst has been good to me so far… I think they’d do well in Mem.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I would love to see Hearst-Argyle be the one to purchase WREG-TV. Talk about competition. Especially if it would mean the return of the Mason Granger/Kim Hindrew team.Of course it would mean Mason giving up his GM Post at WDSU in New Orleans. There are those that would disagree with me on this but some of those on Union might be scared to see this happen. This would be the ultimate Channel 5 versus Channel 3 battle in my opinion.

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