January 10, 2006

Whoa--big news on the news!

NBC Universal to sell WJAR, three other stations

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — NBC Universal is seeking to sell off four of its owned-and-operated stations, including the Rhode Island affiliate WJAR-TV, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The company also is trying to sell WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Ala., WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio and WNCN-TV in Raleigh, N.C., NBC Universal spokeswoman Liz Fischer said. She declined to comment further. [...]

Wow--I have no idea how much the revolving door for on-air talent at WVTM (the former Wendy Garner station) during the past couple of years might have played in this decision, but I have a feeling it must have played some part in it.

It will be interesting to see who finally winds up with it.

UPDATE: Oops--that's what I get for being tired yesterday--the story was in the Birmingham Business Journal, but I missed it. It says the reason is the company wants to be rid of the small-market stations, which is as good an excuse as any, I suppose, but the Raleigh-Durham market is 29th overall in size, which seems kinda big for a small market, but what do I know?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at January 10, 2006 01:23 PM

The Birmingham-Hoover MSA is somewhere around 50th in the nation. I wonder what markets they consider "small".

Posted by: helluva at January 10, 2006 06:31 PM

Birmingham (incl. Anniston and Tuscaloosa) is the 40th largest market with around 717,000 viewers, and Raleigh Durham has 985,000 or so. The next highest market (Hartford-New Haven, CT) has a bit over a million, so I guess that must be the point they're shooting for.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 11, 2006 08:23 AM