Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Down to five

With Phil Yacuboski's departure, WYOU is left with just five reporters. Well, perhaps that should be four: anchorwoman Diane Lee is basically stuck to her chair. Nexstar Broadcasting does not appear to be in a rush to fill Yacuboski's job either. With the company's "do more with less" attitude, I'm not surprised.

Either way, a five-reporter newsroom is unheard of in markets like Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Consider this: WAGM, the CBS affiliate for Presque Isle, Maine (Market 208) also has five reporters. That's perfectly fine when your market is one county. But for a medium-sized market? You've got to be kidding me.

Had there not been a merger with WBRE, WYOU would surely sink!

(Keep in mind this does not include the sports and weather teams, which are separate from news.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may as well say four reporters. Gabrielle Prutisto has been out of the office since January.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and they only have 3 full time photogs

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you a 'where are they now' on gabrielle?

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where has Gabrielle "Shimkus-Andrews" Prutisto been?

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m amazed that no one seems to get it. Nexstar is actively pushing WYOU news into the abyss. It’s barely on life support right now. In the near future (my prediction is less than two years, maybe way less) they’ll pull the plug on the news operation and all the Nexstar brass will stand around the hospital bed muttering, “It’s very sad. We did the best we could.”

Don’t kid yourselves. GM John Dittmeier’s license plate may not read “666,” but he’s the anti-Christ of local broadcasting. Remember when WYOU had a building? A news staff? A presence? A future? Dittmeier expects you to forget.

Next step? They’ll abandon the charade of “shared services.” They’ll combine the two staffs and bill it as a big step forward, as something like “more efficiently utilizing staffing.” The simulcast model for “Morning” and “Midday” probably won’t survive. Is the audience really fooled that at Noon they have three choices for local news? If Nexstar can make a buck running “Beverly Hillbillies” at Noon, it’s “So long Midday on 22.”

Next will be the 5:00 p.m. Hello, “Green Acres,” buh-bye local news. And shortly thereafter there won’t be a need for a 6:00 or an 11:00, and it will be “Mission Accomplished” for Dittmeier & Nexstar.

Ten years ago WNEP had a news staff of 65, WBRE had 60 and WYOU had 50. Today talk on the street is that WNEP is at 60 and holding – WBRE is at 45 and dropping – and WYOU is somewhere under 20 and plummetting. Public service? Nexstar leaders (an oxymoron?) always point out that most of their stations do it with fewer. They don’t want to rise to meet a challenge, they want to sink to make a quick buck.

And it’s not just the news staff that will go. When there’s no news, there will be no need for a local production staff on WYOU: no directors, no audio, no graphics.

It’s been decades since WYOU passed up its chance at greatness: but the station and the people deserve better than they’re getting.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabrielle's bio is still up on the website. What happened to her?

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had a nickel for every time someone said "WYOU is finished" over the last 7 years, I'd be able to buy WNEP in cash.

Face it...they're not going away.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 5.09PM post. I agree with you 100%. I also see this happening...

Think about it, why not close down all of WYOU (and no local CBS affiliate.) I predict this would happen when the big change over comes around in 2009 when we all go digital. This would save so much money, no production crew, no management, no sales people, no programming people, no programming logs, no Master Control (do they still have a MC?,) that would save them tons. But you are probably, saying "But they brought all that new HD equipment." From what I’ve heard, the stuff they have brought are pieces of junk. So they can give it to other Nexstar stations. I know this is a far reaching statement, but think about it. It could happen. Then they can sell their digital channel to the highest bidder. Knowing Nexstar, you never know what might happen.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nexstar is sinking big bucks into a brand spanking new set for WYOU. Maybe that is why they aren't hiring replacements right now, they need to save the money. And with them taking the time and money to get a new set for WYOU it seems to me they won't be getting rid of it for some time.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabrielle shouldn't count as one of the reporters. Frank wrote her scripts. How will she ever survive without him?

John D. has no heart only money on the mind.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe its time for WYOU to take the bold move and go back to producing only a 6 and 11 pm newscast. This watering down of product has done nothing for improving news coverage in the area. Let's face it, you really only need two casts to get the word out.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, brand new set for WYOU, that's for real. Meaning, of course, WYOU's staying put for now. To state the obvious, it's money, the money that WYOU has to be making. Do you think for eight seconds Nexstar would prop that place up if it wasn't returning a profit? And judging how the company is run, it has to be an obscene profit.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe gabrielle will show up on "the news station."

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that Gabrielle was involved in a car accident while out on assignment a few months ago. When she does get back on the air, she won't survive without Frank there. Frank wrote all of her scripts for her.

If she did wind up at The News Station, Fisher would be an idiot for hiring her.

Who cares about WYOU's new set? That doesn't mean the WYOU news operation is sticking around. Who cares about WYOU at all? A once respectable news operation is being driven into the ground by Nexstar. I agree with the opinion that WYOU should stick with producing a 6:00 and 11:00 newscast. However, I feel at least an hour-long morning show would still work.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course spending the money on a new set means that WYOU is sticking around. Why would Nexstar shell out that kind of money if they knew they were going to be dumping all news programming? Nexstar tries to pinch every penny they can. It comes as a shock to me that they are spending any money at all on WYOU.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about WYOU's new set? That doesn't mean the WYOU news operation is sticking around.

Do us a favor; go back and re-read your post, then re-read the posts about the investment of a large chunk of money in a new set for WYOU. Then, try and do 1+1, and see if you can't make it equal 2.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When a station builds a new set, that is a sure sign that management has no idea how to improve the situation. Hint: It starts with the community. Look outside, not inside. And if you want to change your "look", change your people, not their setting.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is ironic that Gabrielle and Frank stopped working at the same time. Is it well known that they are a couple?

7:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home