WKBN To Produce WYTV News – The Details

More details are coming out about that planned “shared services agreement” between two Youngstown TV stations, CBS/FOX combo WKBN/27-“FOX 17/62”, and ABC affiliate WYTV/33.

And according to FCC filings uncovered by the Youngstown Business Journal’s Andrea Wood, it’s exactly what observers thought would happen.

Wood uncovers the agreement between New Vision Television, the owners which have taken over WKBN/WYFX, and Parkin Television, which is in the process of buying WYTV.

To quote the Business Journal article:

The soon-to-be new owner of WYTV has agreed to pay the new owner of WKBN-TV $750,000 annually for producing Channel 33’s newscasts and supplying engineering, technical and back-office services – essentially every function that WYTV employees perform except the duties of senior managers and sales account executives.

Wood reports that the arrangement “hit like a dull thud” at WYTV’s Shady Run Road headquarters, where management told employees of the filing late Monday.

Whatever “wiggle room” there is in the agreement that would provide any jobs for WYTV employees…is hard to find.

The agreement notes that WKBN will basically provide fully-formed newscasts for WYTV that “will have an on-air appearance” as if WYTV originated them, and notes that WYTV non-management news employees would be made available to WKBN/WYFX.

Our guess: This is the part of the agreement where the new combined news operation would be able to use popular on-air “33 News” employees in the WKBN-produced newscasts – a la WYTV’s Stan Boney and the like. Whether this is the case, and if it fits into their contracts with WYTV, we don’t know. As we said, it’s just a guess based on the wording.

But another phrase in the filing covers the allowance of “non-exclusive” news content on WYTV, which is the key to the station airing WKBN/WYFX-produced news reports.

The agreement follows the form of many others before it, including two in nearby Erie PA, which has four stations using two newsrooms…

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