Daily Archives: January 29, 2009

WMAQ/Chicago to Get the “Content Center” Treatment

If you like what they’ve been doing with WNBC/NY, you’ll love what’s in store for WMAQ/Chicago. WMAQ GM Frank Whittaker told staff yesterday that news producers, writers and editors would be required to re-apply for their jobs; the new jobs will be “multi-faceted,” with titles like “platform manager” and “content producer,” and the Chicago Tribune200px-wmaqtv reports it’s all based on the “content center” format unveiled in New York.

“A writer now has to write, an editor now has to edit,” Whittaker said. “These new jobs are going to require multiple skills. You’ll have to write, edit, you’ll have to know how to send a story to the Web, order graphics and design graphics for the story you’re working on,” reports the Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal, whose sources tell him there’s plenty of worry the new multiplatform model may mean layoffs or reduced salaries: “Privately, some current WMAQ staff members expressed concern that the most experienced – and most expensive staff members – would be vulnerable in the 21st century makeover. There also are fears that someone who is particularly good with a skill such as writing or editing might not be as adept at something else with which they have less, little or no experience.”

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UPDATED–”Lightning Rod” Oklahoma Sports Anchor Could Be Released from Hospital Today

KWTV/OKC sports director Dean Blevins may get to go home from the OU Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit as early as today, according to a report on newsok.com.

Dean Blevins/KWTV

Dean Blevins/KWTV

Blevins has been treated for a severe head injury after slipping on ice Monday and hitting his head on a step in front of his home.

Blevins tells Mel Bracht at newsok.com the injury will require the sports anchor work with a speech pathologist after his release from the hospital, “they are going to be monitoring it regularly.  There are questions about whether it affects your speech and some cognitive issues.”

No question about interest among Oklahomans in Blevins’ condition:  “The story on Blevins’ accident was the No. 2 most-read story on NewsOK on Tuesday, a fact that Blevins said Mayor Mick Cornett kidded him about in a telephone call Wednesday morning.

He said Cornett told him, “I always told you the reason that people wanted you to work for them was that you’re the No. 1 lightning rod, sort of like Howard Cosell. There were 27,000 people that read it — 13,000 probably hoped you die and the other 14,000 people wished you well.”

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“NY Nightly News” May Move to WNBC’s Cable Channel

Chuck Scarborough/Daily News Photo

Chuck Scarborough/Daily News Photo

The revamped news lineup at WNBC/NY may be getting revampier, according to a report in today’s NY Daily News. Richard Huff reports the Chuck Scarborough-helmed 7 p.m. “New York Nightly News” could be cable-bound in the next month, moving onto the yet-to-be-formally-named-or-described-but-definitely-24-hour-channel that WNBC has been planning as a key part of its evolution into a “content center.”

Huff reports: “As part of programming the new network, expected to launch next month, Ch. 4′s 7 p.m. newscast may slide over to the so-far-called NY Channel and become a “signature” show, the Daily News has learned.”

Sources also tell the News the 7 p.m. show will expand to an hour, and Scarborough will continue in his role as main anchor of Channel 4′s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

What the remaining 23 hours will look like on the tentatively-titled “NY” channel remains unclear, though it won’t be an all-news competitor to Time-Warner’s NY1.

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