Friday, July 18, 2008
Well, it's official: WTVJ, NBC 6 in South Florida has been sold to Post-Newsweek, owner of competitor WPLG, ABC 10.
The announcement was made to the staffs of both stations this morning.
Here's what WPLG Vice President and General Manager Dave Boylan had to say:
"First and foremost it means that The Washington Post Company believes in local broadcasting. You should feel very proud that you are working for a company that is investing in our future. Bringing two legacy stations together is another commitment made by Alan Frank, Don Graham and the Board of Directors of our company to ensure that the Post-Newsweek Stations will continue as the leader in local news and in serving the Miami-Ft Lauderdale community. I can assure you that both WTVJ and WPLG will be even stronger local broadcasters under this new arrangement."
Feel free to go look up the word "platitude" if you need to. You'll find it in the dictionary, about halfway between "bullshit" and "unemployment."
Speaking of which, what did NBC have to say to the folks at WTVJ?
Well, some of them reported receiving Emergency Unemployment Benefits Forms in the mail yesterday -- before any official announcement had even been made.
On a personal note, I realize that yesterday's extended commentary on this impending deal was a little inside baseball -- maybe too inside for some. I said what I felt needed to be said because I care about these people -- my former co-workers at WTVJ, many of whom have been there for years, through good times and bad. They don't deserve what's happening to them right now, not after all they've done for that place and for NBC. Writing what I did -- expressing some anger, sadness, frustration, outrage, even heartbreak on their behalf and on behalf of the history of the station -- was, literally, the very least I could do.
I wish them all the best.
Hang in there.
(Update: For those who've asked what factors led to a deal like this, take a look at what appears in the #3 slot on Wallet Pop's list of the 25 things that are vanishing from America.)