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  1. #1
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    NBC Boston refuses to air Jay Leno's 10:00PM Show, NBC says it will pull affiliation

    WHDH is the NBC affiliate in Boston (which is carried by Bell TV) has announced that it is refusing to air Jay Leno's 10:00PM show this fall, and will instead air a 10:00PM local newscast. NBC is saying that it will pull it's affiliation with the station if it doesn't air it, but so far the Boston NBC station is not backing down.

    Citytv is luckly that NBC is willing to pull it's affiliation for the show to air, because if they allowed the NBC station to not air Jay Leno, it would mean Citytv Toronto would not get a simulcast on Bell.

    That being said, I think NBC has got to be worried, if Jay Leno flops I would expect many more NBC stations to pull it and go with a local 10:00PM newscast instead. In many markets the local FOX station's 10:00PM newscast is late night's most watched newscast, so it's already a fact that local newscasts work at 10:00PM, and if your station's local 11:00PM newscast ratings start falling because of Jay, I can't see the local affiliates doing nothing.

    Also losing a NBC affiliation is not such a big deal anymore, they are the 4th place network, if your station has highly rated local news (such as NBC Boston) and has hit non-network daytime programming, it may not be such a bad idea to let NBC pull it's affiliation and go independent.

    Here is the report



    From Variety.com

    Boston doesn't want Jay Leno show
    NBC affiliate opts to launch newscast instead
    By MICHAEL SCHNEIDER

    The first great NBC-affiliate battle over the new primetime Jay Leno show is poised to take place in Boston -- the host's hometown.

    WHDH-TV, Boston's Peacock affiliate, announced via its website Thursday that it plans to launch an hour-long 10 p.m. newscast in the fall.

    That would pre-empt Leno's new, still-untitled 10 p.m. series. NBC swiftly responded, warning WHDH that such a move would make them in breach of their pact with the net -- and that the Peacock wouldn't hesitate to yank the station's affiliation.

    "WHDH's move is a flagrant violation of the terms of their contract with NBC," John Eck, NBC TV Network president, said in a statement. "If they persist, we will strip WHDH of its NBC affiliation. We have a number of other strong options in the Boston market, including using our existing broadcast license to launch an NBC-owned and operated station."

    Insiders said NBC is already looking at contingencies in Boston should WHDH go ahead with its plans -- including turning its Telemundo station in the market, WNEU (Channel 60), into an NBC outlet.

    Sunbeam chief Ed Ansin, who owns WHDH, told the Boston Globe that he decided to replace Leno with news because "it fundamentally is a better financial plan for us."

    "We don't think the Leno show is going to be effective in primetime," Ansin said. "It will be detrimental to our 11 o'clock (newscast). It will be very adverse to our finances."

    Ansin told the paper that WHDH had asked for permission to push Leno to 11 p.m., but the network said no. Instead, he has no plans to run Leno at all, and will continue to air an 11 p.m. newscast leading into "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" at 11:35.

    Ansin also claimed that WHDH held a clause in its affiliation contract that would allow the station to dump the 10 p.m. Leno show -- an assertion that NBC also vehemently denied.

    "That is absolutely wrong," said NBC general counsel Rick Cotton. "It is clear that WHDH is contractually required to air NBC programming as scheduled by the network."

    The radical move by WHDH comes as several affils nervously wait to see how NBC's primetime Leno series evolves and ultimately impacts their business.

    The Peacock affils have been conducting a study to see how viewers actually watch "The Tonight Show " -- and how there might be ways to produce and schedule Leno's new show in order to help out affiliates. NBC has also put a task force in place to work with the stations on the launch.

    "We've been engaged in an open dialogue with NBC about the format of the show, and we're looking forward to working with Jay and the entire team," said NBC affiliate board chairman Michael Fiorile, who's also vice chairman of the Dispatch Group.

    This isn't the first time NBC has faced the possibility of having to replace a major affiliate in a top market. After failing to come to terms in 2001 with its long-time San Francisco outlet KRON, NBC wound up affiliating with (and later purchasing) San Jose-based KNTV.

    Like KNTV, which only covered part of San Francisco, WNEU only reaches a portion of the Boston market. But the Peacock has other options in Boston as well, including WSBK, a one-time superstation that is now an independent owned and operated by CBS.

  2. #2
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    If WHDH stops being an NBC affiliate and becomes an independent station, Bell TV and cable systems in Atlantic provinces, their customers, and presumably the Canadian stations for simsub purposes, would all want it replaced immediately with another eastern NBC channel. But how would this work? I believe only certain American stations are authorized by the CRTC for distribution by BDUs in Canada,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...able_in_Canada
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/satlist.htm

    and WNEU does not appear to be one of them. Could Bell simply replace WHDH with the Buffalo or Detroit station? If so, I'm hoping Bell chooses Detroit since I can already receive the Buffalo station by antenna.

  3. #3
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    If NBC does decide to launch a new O&O station (which is unlikely due to costs, even though they say they will) Bell can always ask for that station to be approved by the CRTC, or they could do what you said and go with a Buffalo or Detroit one. Or if NBC turns it's Telemundo station into an NBC one it could ask for that to be approved.

    If NBC goes to WSBK (which would be much cheaper than launching a O&O station, even though it's owned by CBS, they may not mind going NBC since it would improve ratings) then Bell may not do anything since they already carry WSBK. If NBC want to make things easy they could always just keep NBC with WHDH and make a deal with WSBK to air Jay Leno at 10:00PM, but it looks like that wont happen.

    Really, I think NBC expected WHDH to back down after this, but that's not the case, they are still airing promos and have an announcement on their website about a 10:00PM newscast.

  4. #4
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    I just hope, unlike with the WPCH/TBS situation, Bell and the Cdn cable companies that carry the Boston stations are paying attention to this, and are ready to quickly react if and when the NBC affiliation changes. It would be so annoyingly typical of them to just keep carrying WHDH for days or weeks before they realized something had happened, and only then start looking into eventually replacing it.

  5. #5
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    I don't think it would be so awful for NBC to schedule Jay Leno 11:00pm and have the NBC locals air news at 10pm. Sure it would push back the Tonight Show and Late Night but I think it would help the local affiliates. There are many markets where the FOX affiliate does not air a 10pm news program. In these markets the NBC affilate would be the only Newscast at 10pm.
    Last edited by Everfresh; 04-03-2009 at 04:26 PM.

  6. #6
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    They could even allow a local newscast at 10:00PM and have them air Jay Leno at 10:30PM. That way The Tonight Show and Late Night could keep their same timeslots, local NBC stations still get a half hour of late night local news, and they get to air it at 10:00PM before the local CBS/ABC newscasts.

    It's very clear that NBC doesn't care what their own local stations want, they only care about the network making money. All WHDH is trying to do is protect it's local newscasts, and NBC pretty much says they don't care if WHDH is an NBC station or not, and are fine with pulling it's affiliation, acting like WHDH should be luckly to be an affiliate of the 4th place network.

  7. #7
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    I had a feeling that this type of thing would happen the day they announced Jay Leno's move to 10pm. I like TVViewer's idea of airing a half hour of local news at 10, then Leno at 10:35, Conan at 11:35 and so on. The local news would surely be a great lead in for Leno and then Leno would also probably continue to be a great lead in for Conan. NBC's current primetime schedule is crap anyway, so I think that news would work as a better lead-in then anything else NBC would be airing before Leno.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVViewer View Post
    It's very clear that NBC doesn't care what their own local stations want, they only care about the network making money. All WHDH is trying to do is protect it's local newscasts, and NBC pretty much says they don't care if WHDH is an NBC station or not, and are fine with pulling it's affiliation, acting like WHDH should be luckly to be an affiliate of the 4th place network.
    WHDH asked NBC if they could air Leno at 11pm. NBC flat out said No. Why? NBC is in no position to be threatening affiliates. They don't have too many programs that have high ratings and it doesn't look like that will change in the fall. One of their few successes ER just went off the air for good last night.

    From a similar article ...

    NBC has inferred that their decision was a business decision to benefit NBC and not necessarily their affiliates and their key late newscasts, so stations will look at their own interests and may make decisions in a similar fashion


    WAKE UP NBC! Take what you can get. Your spanish affiliate in town is not a strong move. The station only covers half the city. WSBK as an NBC affiliate - good idea if they could keep it together. Just remeber that WSBK is owned by NBC rival CBS. There's a great possibility that NBC could find themselves in a similar situation in the future.

  9. #9
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    Wherever NBC goes, it's going to cost them a ton. Since WSBK doesn't produce it's own newscats, they are produced by the local CBS station. I'm not sure about the spanish one but it seems like they would have to put alot of money into making new sets and getting new on-air talent.

  10. #10
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    It looks like NBC Boston has decided that Jay Leno will air afterall.

    From variety.com

    Is Boston’s WHDH having second thoughts about dumping Jay Leno for a 10 p.m. newscast?

    A day after the NBC affiliate sparked a firestorm by announcing plans to preempt the Peacock’s primetime Leno strip, WHDH owner Sunbeam Television went silent Friday, refusing to comment on its plans.
    Calls to Miami-based Sunbeam TV topper Ed Ansin went unreturned -- and a story that had run on WHDH’s website announcing the 10 p.m. newscast vanished Friday. (WHDH’s Facebook and Twitter accounts also made no mention whatsoever of the Leno snub -- despite the national headlines it spawned.)
    There’s a good possibility that Sunbeam became aware it had overplayed its hand, perhaps not realizing that its announcement would garner national attention.
    More importantly, Sunbeam was perhaps unprepared for NBC’s swift and decisive response to WHDH’s newscast announcement. Peacock execs didn’t beat around the bush on Thursday: If WHDH pursues those plans, its NBC affiliation will be immediately stripped, they said.
    NBC TV Network prexy John Eck, who didn’t mince words Thursday, followed up Friday with a second statement, this time directed at Boston viewers: “Jay Leno fans will not be disappointed,” he said. “Make no mistake: The new Leno show will air at 10 p.m. weeknights in the Boston market on NBC.”
    WHDH is in the middle of a multiyear deal with the network; according to the New York Times, it’s one of the few Peacock affils that still receives financial compensation, once a norm in network/station relations, from the Peacock. The networks have phased out compensation through the years -- and in some cases, now even demand reverse compensation from affils.
    NBC would appear to have the leverage in this standoff, as the Peacock has several options in Boston -- including its own Telemundo outlet, WNEU. Although WNEU doesn’t cover all of Boston -- it’s actually licensed to a town in nearby New Hampshire -- it does have full cable coverage in the Boston market.
    Network insiders believe they could strike a deal with Comcast to improve WNEU’s channel position on local cable systems; and the digital transition lessens the difference between the highly coveted VHF and UHF channel positions.
    NBC could also trigger an affiliation merry-go-round in the market by making a play for Hearst-Argyle’s ABC affil, WCVB; or it could strike a deal with CBS to purchase the Eye’s independent in the market, onetime superstation WSBK.
    The Peacock said Friday that it had received inquiries from several stations in the market about acquiring the NBC affiliation. WBPX (Channel 68), currently owned by ION, has shown network aspirations in the past -- having aired preempted network fare in the 1980s. Another small UHF in the market, ValueVision-owned WWDP, airs home-shopping programming from ShopNBC, which is 30% owned by the Peacock).
    Dumping WHDH for a smaller station without a news presence comes with some risk. CBS, for example, has struggled in Detroit for more than a decade after losing its longtime home in 1994 as part of the New World Communications flip to Fox. The Eye bought a tiny religious station and turned it into CBS O&O WWJ -- but failed to launch a news department, and even today lacks much of a presence in the market.
    On the flip side, the ratings and revenue collapse of San Francisco’s once-mighty KRON would serve as a cautionary tale to WHDH. After new KRON owner Young Broadcasting refused to pay reverse compensation to NBC, the Peacock found a willing affiliate in Granite’s KNTV. (NBC later bought KNTV when Granite couldn’t make the payments.) Without NBC, KRON has suffered -- and now makes do with a MyNetworkTV affiliation.
    One winner in all of this could be the CW, which Sunbeam would presumably move off its other Boston station, WLVI (Channel 56), and onto the more powerful WHDH if it lost the NBC affiliation. Since CW programs only two hours a night, there’d be no issue with airing a 10 p.m. newscast.
    But WHDH would see its revenues decline greatly in other dayparts, as it would no longer air the “Today” show or NBC’s latenight stable. And it would also miss out on a big ratings and dollars payday from the upcoming Winter Olympics.
    NBC insiders are still surprised by Sunbeam’s brazen move; even if the company wanted to preempt Leno for a 10 p.m. newscast, that wouldn’t happen until September -- so why announce those intentions so early? Was it an attempt to persuade other affiliates to join the movement?
    Ansin is already seen as a bit of an iconoclast in the station world. In Miami, Sunbeam’s WSVN was once upon a time an NBC affiliate -- but, by the mid-1980s, was preempting enough Peacock fare that the network grew alarmed and started looking at other options in the market.
    NBC eventually bought another station, WTVJ, which was then affiliated with CBS. Ansin refused to give up the NBC affiliation until his contract ran out and then joined up with the then-fledgling Fox network.
    Sunbeam took advantage of Fox’s shorter, two-hour primetime sked and built up WSVN’s news presence, including a 10 p.m. telecast. That powered WSVN to strong ratings -- even as the station was criticized in journalism circles.
    It’s WSVN’s success that is probably fueling Ansin’s desire to replicate the 10 p.m. format in Boston. Ansin may also believe that the 10 p.m. newscast his company now produces for its Boston CW outfit WLVI, which is trounced by Fox’s WFXT, might be more competitive if placed on WHDH.
    Ansin may have also figured that NBC would back down and find another station to clear Leno in Boston. Although it’s rare for affils to regularly preempt primetime fare, it’s been more common through the years in other dayparts. In Salt Lake City, NBC affil KSL -- which is owned by the Mormon Church -- doesn’t run “Saturday Night Live.”
    While there isn’t much sympathy for NBC in Hollywood, where the decision to move Leno into primetime still isn’t popular (given that it’s filling timeslots once occupied by scripted series), Bostonians appear to be upset over the WHDH announcement.
    Comments on the Boston Globe website, where news of WHDH’s plans first surfaced Thursday, were running mostly in favor of hometown hero Leno -- and against the WHDH plans.

  11. #11
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    WHDH has officially announced that Jay Leno will air at 10pm in September

    WHDH has officially announced that Jay Leno will air at 10pm in September

    WHDH decides to air NBC's new 10 p.m. series in fall

    NBC's rebel Boston affiliate will carry the network's new Jay Leno primetime talk show after all.

    A week after WHDH-TV owner Ed Ansin started a firestorm by announcing his plans not to air the show because it "will be very adverse to our finances," he changed his mind.

    "Upon further consideration, we have decided to telecast Jay Leno at 10 p.m. starting in September," Ansin said in a statement. "Jay is from Andover, where I went to school. I enjoy his humor. We hope the new show is a big success."

    After issuing harsh statements threatening WHDH with stripping its affiliation a week ago, the network was consiliatory in its tone Monday.

    "We are very pleased that WHDH will carry Jay Leno's new primetime comedy show," said John Eck, president of NBC TV Network. "We look forward to working closely with the station on a successful launch in Boston of this show, featuring one of the most bankable stars in the business."

 

 

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