Local news market expanding

 November 9, 1998 | Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)

 | Page: B3 | Section: B3
384 Words | Readability: Lexile: 1300, grade level(s): 11-12

Chattanooga's local television news market expands tonight with the addition of a new Warner Bros. affiliate newscast on WHYB-TV 39. Beamed to seven counties from a small Shallowford Road house filled with studio equipment, WHYB will debut a 30-minute newscast at 10 p.m. today dedicated to community news. "About four weeks ago, we made the decision to go with it," says WHYB news director-producer David Carlock, a former news director for WRCB-TV Channel 3. "Our emphasis will be covering the news not normally covered." Anchoring WHYB's newscast will be Mike King, a former member of ex-Congresswoman Marilyn Lloyd's staff and local radio and television reporter; Missy Crutchfield, a former television host on WFLI-TV 53; and Eugene Parrott, WHYB's sports director. "We can't compete with the others, we realize that," says Carlock. Instead, WHYB hopes to find a winning formula with in-depth features on issues not often seen elsewhere, such as a "What's Great About Chattanooga" segment with man-on-the-street interviews, a trivia quiz and discussions about soccer, rugby and other little-reported sports. The tiny station is also part of a larger trend in local television. For meanwhile, across town, WDSI-TV Fox 61 is poised for a major move. Starting in January, the Fox station will take its newscast to a new level, severing its production deal with WTVC-TV NewsChannel 9. For the past four years, Fox's News at 10 has been produced at Channel 9 with Fox news personnel, including Dan Howell and Connie Mayberry on the anchor desk. And now, Fox is nearly ready to go solo. "We intend to be a contender in the next year or two," says Fox general manager Jim Wright. "We will be adding to the staff substantially." Fox has been advertising available positions in all phases of television news production, including anchors, reporters, photographers, producers and editors. NewsChannel 9 will continue working hard to produce "the best news we can" for Fox's News at 10, says 9's news director Steve Hunsicker. But Fox has never made a secret of its desire to have its own news product when ready, Hunsicker said. The sheer number of cable stations means growing numbers of local newscasts, he added. "There was a time when there were only three stations," he says. "But I predict you're going to see every station doing local news. That's the only way to get it, because you're not going to get it on CNN."

Post a Comment