Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Slash-and-burn in Binghamton?

Binghamton, N.Y., is a traditional starting point for many new reporters, who tend to head down Interstate 81 and land in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton until they find a better job. Now that WBNG has been bought out by Granite Broadcasting for $45 million, I expect that news directors in this market will find a few extra resume tapes postmarked from our friends in Market 156.

Why is that?

For those of you who don't know about Granite, the company's stock is in the crapper, and they have nearly a half-billion dollars in debt. It makes Nexstar Broadcasting look admirable in comparison. Call me cynical, but I'm going to bet that the bean counters will head into WBNG's newsroom on a slash-and-burn mission real soon.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus, it was announced the GM is bailing to go to Hawaii. It's a shame that's a really good station and great training ground. Lots of folks who work/worked here came from there: Daniele Shielsher, Tom Williams, Kerry Shayen, Patrick Frank, Justin Pizzi and Paul Grippi.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last thing Binghamton needs is a news station with no cash. WBNG is the only station in the market with a live van, which is old and still bears the WBNG logo from years ago. (I heard that WNEP sold WBNG their old sat truck, but I've never seen it). WBNG is just like WNEP down here, it dominates the 'greater binghamton' area, and has a well known past, but with this news, WBNG will more than likly go down the tube. WIVT (abc) does a good job up there, and WICZ (fox) is a joke.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now with the announcement of WBNG's GM leaving and the station being under new 'management'. After this is all said and done, will WBNG still be 'Binghamton's News Leader'?

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howie,
All things considered, Granite may make Nexstar look admirable, however, in the D.O.D. (Dept. of Debt), Nexstar is nearly 190 million dollars more in the red than Granite.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Howard Beale said...

That's true. But, at times, Nexstar's management can make reasonable decisions. Granite's bigwigs, on the other hand, wouldn't know effective management if it smacked them in the head.

Why is it that so many of these companies continue to expand, despite overwhelming debt?

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reasonable decisions? Name one.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Tom Carten said...

Why is it that so many of these companies continue to expand, despite overwhelming debt?

Why do gamblers keep tossing money into a game they keep losing? Because this is the ploy that will win big ... this is the Big Plan that will turn us around ... this is the Master Stroke.

In other words, I think they are looking for the fantasy solution in bigness, rather than solving it locally on a small scale. That's why people spend outrageously when the Lottery has a $10 Gazillion pot.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well good luck to the WBNG's GM. I don't know if anyone else has seen this, but I just found it.
KHON to fire 30% of staff:
http://www.bizjournals.com/industries/high_tech/cable_tv_radio/2006/01/09/pacific_daily44.html

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granite bought out my last station. They fired 60 of us. Good luck BNG.

5:38 PM  

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