Nexstar Broadcasting Group is relaunching WPTY, which it
acquired from Newport Television last year.
One June 1, WPTY will debut as WATN-TV Local 24, coinciding
with Nexstar's new 27,000-square-foot HD facility in DMA No. 49.
WATN, CW affiliate WLMT and Nexstar's WJKT Jackson (Tenn.)
will operate under the Local 24 news brand, and at localmemphis.com. Memphis
and Jackson are around 90 miles apart.
Nexstaracquired a dozen stations, including WPTY-WLMT, from Newport for $285.5
ArdythDiercks took over as WPTY-WLMT general manager in January. She hired Lisa
Lovell-Ayres to be news director inApril.
"This is a very exciting time for Nexstar and our
Mid-South station operations, as launching WATN Local 24 reflects our deep
commitment to serve our local community and advertising partners, while
delivering the most relevant, compelling and informative local news that
touches the daily lives of our viewers," Diercks said. "We are
re-dedicating ourselves to the local Memphis/Jackson community with the debut
of our new technologically advanced operations center and innovative local news
programming that will feature an updated, modern look, including new sets,
high-definition studio cameras, enhanced meteorological forecasting technology
and advanced weather and traffic presentation equipment."
WPTY is well off the pace in Memphis, which is dominated by
Local TV and Raycom stations. It was fourth in revenue last year, according to
The Local 24 News brand will produce 43 hours of local news
a week, including a 9 p.m. newscast on WJKT.
"We are offering Memphis viewers, as well
as Web and mobile users, the most choices to access in-depth and informative
local news throughout the day and evening," said Diercks.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.