Monday, November 27, 2006

Sharing is caring

WBRE and WYOU share a lot of things: the same owner, the same photographers, the same stories, and the same video. Now, in a reversal of a long-standing rule, they're sharing reporters as well.

Sure, both stations share reporters on their simulcast "Pennsylvania Morning" and "Pennsylvania Midday," but now we have WBRE personalities showing up on a WYOU-branded newscast, and vice versa. Perhaps you recently saw Andy Mehalshick show up on WYOU to talk about sex predators, or David DeCosmo doing a live shot for WBRE?

Until now, both stations vigorously defended their own identities. You never saw Keith Martin on a WYOU newscast, or Penny Lindgren on a WBRE-branded program. Back when WBRE was building its current set, former news director Al Zobel refused to let WYOU reporters walk behind the temporary newsroom set during a newscast, because he didn't want someone from WYOU showing up in a WBRE-branded product.

Perhaps this "crossing over" arrangement was inevitable. Both stations are owned by the same company anyway. But how long until we see both stations lose their identities and resort to "WBRE News on WYOU," or "WYOU News on WBRE?"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WBRE and WYOU will soon be sharing a website as well. I believe!

11:10 PM  
Anonymous former nexstar victim said...

This is absolutely ridiculous. One thing that Zobel did right was not allow WYOU on-air staffers walk through the WBRE side of the newsroom, while WBRE was using the newsroom as the set. At least Zobel had some etiquette in that way. I can't believe Nexstar is allowing this. It's bad enough that place has to deal with "Shared Services," why should they be subject to all talent being on both stations now? This is utterly f-ing silly.

2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be a two television station market soon. Wait and see. It was said here first!

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The beginning of the end? I'd say even the most casual of observers see this latest breakdown of branding ID as a clear indication that the end is near. It's been Nexstar's desire all along to offer one product on two stations, and given what's now going on, it would appear that's their move in the very near future. All they need do is rename the simulcast product ala PA Morning. Hell, they'll likely call it Pennsylvania Evening, then Pennsylvania Late Night. As to who'll survive the death of WYOU(safe assumption that it will be WYOU, right?), just ask yourself this; who is left to survive? Surely their on-air talent can be absorbed into the WBRE family. Grossklaus came from WBRE, so no big deal there.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey. Did anyone else notice when WBRE did the Stroudsburg fire story they didn't send the green WYOU transfer Monteforte.

They sent Carmen Grant, it's about time they figure out they need to use journalists with experience, not fresh out of college wannabes.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the difference?

WBRE is all about Wilkes-Barre and south of there.

WYOU is all about their topic of the day.

Big Whoop! Just fully merge and stop the nonsense already.

2 stations 1 source

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't remember what ratings tactic package for WBRE it was for but, WBRE was running promos (during primetime) on WYOU for the WBRE package.

So here is the scheme:
Local Commercial
Local Commercial
WBRE Promo (with the NBC peacock and NO WYOU identification)
Legal ID
Back to CBS Programming with the eye on the side of the screen...

Now remember, the promo they were airing, had NOTHING with WYOU or the CBS eye on it. Just the WBRE logos and the NBC peacock…

Isn't this going to confuse the audience? Bad move...very bad move promotions…who thought of that one?

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a very odd situation! Confusing viewers no doubt. It's also hard to admit I now watch WYOU over WBRE. Talk about a train wreck, I see WBRE as a numbet three station in the near future.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perry Sook is on record against a full WBRE/WYOU news simulcast. Ha!

Think he’s committed to serving the public? Hardly.

He’s just worried that killing off an independent news voice (even a muffled voice) and leaving the market with only two sources of local TV news would wave a red flag in front of the FCC. He wants to fly as far under the radar as possible. The last thing he wants is regulators noticing what “shared services” has really meant to the stations, the employees and the public. Shhhhh. It’ll be our little secret that Sook has gutted the stations and made this the least competitive top-100 news market in America.

Parenthetically, it will be interesting to see what the new Democratic Congress will have to say about cross-ownership, duopolies, local service agreements and Nexstar's multi-market multi-station shell game.

Put THAT on your "email the FCC" website, Perry.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:24. They sent Carmen because Laurie's in the hospital. Get your facts straight.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it surprise anyone if WYOU actually survived and not WBRE? As for the way the place is's just bad. No other word can describe it. Perry Sook's not the only one to blame, how about current managment and the promo staff for coming up with these ideas. SHARING TALENT SHOULD STOP TODAY!! MAKES THE ENTIRE MARKET BAD.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word through the grapevine is that soon they will be one station. BUT, WBRE is going to be absorbed into WYOU! For years everyone was leaning the other way. Apparently WYOU's new format is doing rather well

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

former nextar victim - dude, you are old hat, so you got screwed by your "ex"-employer. get in line. it happens all the time. you either didn't like it and left or got canned cause you sucked. move on. please.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous former nexstar victim said...

I didn't get canned. I surely don't suck. I left WBRE/WYOU on my own terms. Stop defending Sook the Schnook. I have moved on to a bigger and better market...and I'm happy with where I am now. However, I will not sit back and allow people like you to defend the actions of Sook the Schnook. I will continue to expose the terrible ethics brought on by Nexstar. Get over yourself fool.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have predicted the full fledged simulcast since the shared services agreement began in 1998. I'll believe it when it happens. The novelty has worn off WYOU's talk format. Have you seen some of those recent topics? They induce comas. WYOU may get a bump in the November book due to the novelty. It won't work long term. Having Mehalshick as a guest is a sure sign WYOU is out of ideas.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People have predicted the full fledged simulcast since the shared services agreement began in 1998."

And I'd bet big money that the only thing stopping it has been Sook's concern about what he can pull without setting off alarms all over the regulatory world. An awful lot of tea leaves to be read right now, and they all say the same thing to me - Nexstar is about to make one of its news departments here go away.

Now's the time, before our new congress settles in and gets an itch to change some policies. Within six months, WYOU News will become an historical footnote.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ESPN and ABC cross over talent and promos all the time. Why is this any different ?

Oh that's right: because it's Nexstar.

The posts in this thread are just proof of the negative, narrow-mindedness in this market. The rumors of an all-simulcast WYOU/WBRE have been circulating for 8 years. Why do they keep coming back ? Is it because you people can't stand being proven wrong year after year ?

Way to go Howard. Great job in finding an interesting, intelligent subject matter for us all to discuss. Let's just recycle a rumor from 1998.

Biggest BS blog ever.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I were a fly on the wall on South Franklin Street. I’d like to hear what they’re…wait…wait just a minute…I think…

(cue DREAM SEQUENCE music)

“This is going to be great. No more two control rooms turning out newscasts at the same time, no more tape jammers fighting over tapes in the playback area. Sure, we’ll have to get rid of 10 or 15 people (maybe we can lose a half dozen-or-so of those meteorologists cluttering up the place), but that will get us down to fighting weight. Lean and mean. We’ll finally have enough cars and cameras to go around, and enough trucks for every live shot. Hey, this is going to be great! Why, we’ll topple ‘NEP in no time. This is the best thing that ever happened to us. Thank God for Nexstar!

(DREAM SEQUENCE music under and out)

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul…
Emily Dickinson

7:23 PM  
Anonymous former nexstar victim said...

to the 7:23 poster: funny stuff! Keep it coming!! It's very sad (and funny at the same time) that what you said is close to what could happen on South Franklin Street.

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so montefoire (sp?)was in the hospital -that doesn't change the fact that she is green. While i hope she is alright I still think she was brought into this market way too early. Good for her bad for the broadcast journalism biz as a whole and in part bad for the local standard. No offense -- she's trying.

2:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Biggest BS blog ever."

7:12 PM

Thanks, Perry.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ESPN and ABC cross over talent and promos all the time. Why is this any different ?"

7:12 PM

That would be because ABC and ESPN are cross-promoting complimentary, non-competitive programming: using the established "ESPN" brand name to push ALL sports.

The words "promoting," "complimentary," and "established" don't apply to whatever the 22 and 28 newscasts are called these days.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a longtime resident of the area and an avid WBRE viewer, I find it hard to justify Laurie Monteforte as a 'straight out of college green wannabe'. In my opinion, bringing a fresh face onto the scene once in a while is a very good idea.

As for saying that Carmen Grant is more of an experienced journalist than Monteforte might be true as far as years on the job, it is clear to see that this is definitely not a determining factor as far as job performance goes. Monteforte's presentation and just overall speaking abilities far overshadow Carmens. I dont know if it's just me, but I find it hard to follow a story sometimes when Grant is delivering the news because, in all honesty, she mumbles alot and lacks the smooth flow that Monteforte brings to the table.

On the other hand, I question why one person is upset that Monteforte has a chance to showcase her talents at such a, as you like to call it, 'green' part of her career. I do not care how inexperienced you claim Monteforte to be, she does her job with poise and confidence and that is all you can ask of a young journalist. For all of you jealous (I'll use your word here) "wanna-be's" out there, give Monteforte the respect she deserves as the first-class young journalist she is.

Lets not forget that I, or any normal red-blooded american male for that matter, would much rather look at Monteforte on the television than Grant. If you do not know what I am saying here, you obviously havent compared the two.

Congratulations Laurie on being a great addition to the WBRE team and I wish you luck for the future. Get Well Soon!

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me tell you a couple things about Laurie Monteforte. She tries! Often that's enough to topple and crumble the rest of the jackasses at 62 South Franklin.

Laurie is a great shooter and a good story-teller. Did she get lucky breaking into this market? Sure. She's not without her qualities.

Enough about her... take a look at some of the other women at 28 (I have to pick on BRE because there's only one woman at 22). What's with some of the reporters there? One female can't get it together- EVER. And there's another reporter who should swing by an early reading center for some speech performance tips.

There are some bad reporters all over the place, and then there's 62 South Franklin.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know. Laurie is not the only newbie around here.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why is she in the hospital? Get well soon.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE SCENE: Howard Beale addresses his Minions early this week:

HOWARD: OK Minions, we haven't had a good thread in 2 weeks. We need something for everyone to post crap about.

MINION NO. 1: How about a thread about local radio ?

HOWARD: Nah, no one cares.

MINION NO. 1: Frank Andrews ?

HOWARD: Nah, we have to be nice to him or he'll change the law regarding what I can publish on the internet.


HOWARD: Nah, no one believes it's happening.

MINION NO. 3: Al Zobel ?

HOWARD: Already talked about in every single thread.

MINION NO. 4: The cost-effective problems of converting to HD ?

HOWARD: Imbecile ! I said we need a topic for people to post mindless crap !

MINION NO. 1: How about recycling an old rumor ?

HOWARD: Oh OK. Dig up the files on WYOU/WBRE and dust them off.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Jiminy Cricket said...

When you wish upon Nexstar, makes no difference what the call letters are.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Howard Beale said...

8:28 PM

I like you already!

But you overestimate the story selection process here. I just throw a dart at a board marked with topics...sadly it usually hits the "OH NO AL ZOBEL RUINED MY LIFE AND GAVE ME TOOTH DECAY" section.

As for the WBRE/WYOU merger rumors, I know they've been floating around since Nexstar moved into town. But the rumor mill seems to be working harder these days.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a longtime resident of the area and an avid WBRE viewer,.

So, you're the one!

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a "special" thread about local radio. I think they'd come out of the woodwork.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Congratulations Laurie on being a great addition to the WBRE team and I wish you luck for the future. Get Well Soon!"

Nice to see the Monteforte family posting here. The only question is, which member of the family?

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why all the digs at Laurie? She interned at WNEP. With their teachers, she probably learned more there in a few weeks than WBRE reporters have learned in years on the job.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Laurie interned at WNEP. That's a plus.

She also interned at WBRE. Oh, well.

Truth is, she's a smart kid: aggressive, eager and resourceful. If she cut to the front of the line ahead of others-if she's received more breaks than her peers--good for her! She's made the most of every opportunity. She's one to watch in the years ahead.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering what Nexstar is paying people nowadays, they can only afford the kids right out of college. Don't blame them for being greener than the grass. Everyone has to start somewhere. Nexstar's weak salaries have turned this into a starter's market. The same goes for the shooters.

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Funniest post evar!

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Laurie Monteforte played her cards right she could be in a Top 20 market. She's solid now and she does her own shooting and editing. Plus lets face it, she's pretty darn attractive. Imagine if all she had to do was work her contacts and just write? I'd like to Rosa Yum shoot and edit her own stuff. Half the time she doesn't even get out of the car. The only thing that might hurt Laurie is the fact she very rarely gets the chance to go live because of the situation in Stroudsburg. Most of the live time is used up with that All-Points non-sense. Those of you who say she stinks have absolutely no clue what you're talking about or know the headaches she has to deal with regarding the shooting and editing.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:41pm: Rosa Yum at WNEP could shoot and edit, but her station believes (mostly) in hiring reporters to report and photographers to shoot and edit.

That said, I think Laurie Monteforte will be a superior reporter to Yum. Both women have great attitudes about work and try very hard. Laurie's instincts for reporting are simply better.

Rosa may speak multiple languages, but the stilted delivery and odd sentence structure are negatives on air.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That said, I think Laurie Monteforte will be a superior reporter to Yum... Laurie's instincts for reporting are simply better.

Oh God, this has got to stop. Am I the only who finds this perhaps the most transparent self-promotion ever on this blog?

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy 8:16pm, most of the comments talk about Laurie's potential. I haven't seen anyone say Laurie has the storytelling gift of a Mike Stevens. No one's suggesting she's the next Peter Jennings, either. The comparison was Laurie to Rosa Yum. Everything's relative.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laurie interned with Gabrielle at 22.

That said, I guess all she learned was how to pick up the phone and call Frank to ask him what to do.

9:53 AM  

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