Channel 6 grows fatter as WTLX-TV tighten belt

 By R.C. Morgan-Wilde
Tallahassee Democrat
January 8, 1987

Channel 27's bosses say they are not giving up on News.

The problem is that an overwhelming majority of area TV viewers might not even notice.

"The station had built up a nice-sized news audience," said Mark Keown, Channel 27's general managers, "but in nine ratings books, (Channel 6's) audience has grown.

In absolute numbers, (Channel 6, cable 9) has more people watching their news than they did in May 1984."

Moreover, when ABC affiliate WTXL-TV Channel 27 (cable 7) discontinued its 11 p.m. newscasts in January, News Director Tony Windsor said he received few viewer complaints.

And personnel and program changes ordered for WTXL cast a shadow over the future news operation that "Our Place" will be able to deliver.  "This is Our Place" is Channel 27's slogan.

"To operate at the same level would have cost ($500,000) in 1987," Windsor said.  The station's news operation still will cost more than $300,000, he said.  

Gone: former news show anchor Beverly Lewis, six other full-time news employees; and another six part-time staffers.

Gone: Joe Larkins, co-anchor of "Newsight 27," who is expected to leave Friday for Naples' ABC station WEVU-TV.

Gone: as of last week, Steve Hunsicker, former assistant news director, to an assistant news director post at Scranton, PA's WYOU-TV.

"In order for (channel 27 or NBC's WTWEC-TV channel 40) to be successful, WCTV's (Channel 6) ratings numbers have to come down," Keown said.  "We think we know why their ratings have stayed high, but we're not financially prepared to make the necessary changes."

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