BREAKING NEWS: Akron/Canton TV Newscast Extended A Month

It had been feared that the WKYC/3-produced “Akron/Canton News” could end its run on Time Warner Cable channel 23 at the end of this month…but there’s apparently been enough response to give it at least another month of life.

The Akron Beacon Journal’s R.D. Heldenfels reports on this afternoon that Time Warner will continue airing the newscast “at least” through the end of May, which gives TWC and WKYC more time to evaluate the future of the newscast anchored by WKYC’s Eric Mansfield.

TWC spokesman Bill Jasso tells Heldenfels that the move to save the newscast is “headed in the right direction”, and puts odds at its continuation through the end of 2006 to be “better than 50-50”.

The cable company took over the role of airing the newscast produced from the WKYC Akron/Canton Bureau at Main and Market last summer, when the agreement between WKYC and WVPX/23 ended in uncertainty about that over-air station’s future.

The problem is simple – “Akron/Canton News” is a costly venture, and wasn’t pulling in the kind of advertising revenue that could support it. At least part of that would likely be due to the much lower profile on a local access cable channel.

But the newscast, if it survives through the summer, will pick up more eyeballs on the fringes of the Akron/Canton area…with the eventual absorption of the local Adelphia systems by Time Warner. Adelphia officials are targetting July 31st as the “essential” date for that merger to be completed…

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