Defunct news department gets awards

The news department at WPXT(TV) Portland, Maine, won four first-place awards --
including best newscast, weathercast and sportscast -- along with a handful of
seconds and thirds from the Maine Association of Broadcasters. That was more
than any other station.

The problem is WPXT no longer has a news department. In June, owner Pegasus Communications Corp. --
which had earlier tried to expand its news presence -- pulled the plug, saying it
couldn't justify the cost.

"It's certainly ironic," MAB president Suzanne Goucher said. WPXT was
probably best-known for breaking the story of then-presidential candidate George W. Bush's
past drunk-driving arrest. The reporter, Erin Fehlau, is now anchoring and
reporting for Hearst-Argyle Stations Inc.'s WMUR-TV Manchester, N.H., but many other
colleagues are still looking for work. Goucher said all are invited to the