Monday, June 19, 2006

Informing the Community? Priceless

The company that owns the Rio Grande Valley's NBC television affiliate files for bankruptcy. As radio station KURV 710 reports:
Communications Corporation of America has filed under Chapter Eleven in U-S Bankrtupcy Court in the Western District of Louisiana. In a written statement, C-C-A says the filing will not affect day-to-day operations of its television stations, and all employees will remain in place.
The privately held company owns 10 stations in Texas, Louisiana and Indiana, including Brownsville's KVEO NBC 23. Interestingly, CCA's owner has a son whose broadcasting company also is filing for bankruptcy.

The Brownsville Herald reports a statement from the parent company that "the filing will not affect the day-to-day operations of the company’s television stations."

Too bad. Channel 23 doesn't have a local news department, instead bringing South Texas audiences reruns of The Simpsons and Everybody Loves Raymond during those time slots. Maybe a local newscast would help boost ratings.

Sure, it's cheaper when you don't have a news staff to pay, but it obviously hurts a station in the long run. As The Daily Advertiser of Lafayette, Louisiana, points out, most of those stations CCA owns don't bother to produce news reports. However, local TV news builds viewer loyalty, which helps with ad revenue:
Most of the company's stations, including the two in Lafayette, lack a local news department - typically a big attraction for local advertisers. Court filings estimated the company's debts at more than $100 million.
The stations have been on the market since October, but no buyers. Maybe someone will step in and purchase Channel 23, and bring another English-language newscast to the Valley.

2 Comments:

Blogger Aggie Gal said...

Back in the day..many moons ago, I remember asking a former employee of KVEO why they didn't have a local news cast. He said, "When we did,'back in the days of Ron Olivera', we were getting killed in the ratings by KRGV and KGBT. So, financially, it made sense to them to yank the news on put on The Simpsons. Didn't the local Fox affiliate try the same thing and fail miserably?

8:39 PM  
Blogger Mack Harrison said...

The Fox newscast attempt failed miserably in a journalistic sense; I don't know how it did financially. It became a moot point when the station got sold and switched to Spanish-language programming. The new Fox affiliate is supposed to have a local newscast Any Day Now, with a little help from the Univision news crew. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

10:55 AM  

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