Station Break

WPRI-TV extends morning news

LIN TV Corp.'s hometown station WPRI-TV Providence, R.I., will expand its local morning newscast, from 6-7 a.m. to 5-7 a.m., beginning Sept. 9. Its Fox duopoly sister station WNAC-TV went from a half-hour to an hour last month. News Director Gary Brown believes that the station raised its local profile with daily 4:30 p.m. reports on the trial of longtime Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci—arguably the biggest local trial since the Klaus von Bulow murder trial. Although the daily update did not do as well as the People's Court
syndicated show it replaced, it helped boost ratings for the evening news that followed, Brown said.

The expanded newscasts have meant 10 new hires, including meteorologist Steve Cascione from WLNE(TV) New Bedford, Mass.—who will have to sit out a noncompete clause in his contract—and Pamela Watts, who comes from NPR station WRNI(FM) Providence and had been a popular anchor previously at WLNE(TV).

WSBK-TV adds morning news

WSBK-TV Boston will debut a 7 a.m. newscast Sept. 16. The Viacom-owned station promises "news you can use," focusing on sports, traffic, business, weather and other news updates. The program will also scroll sports scores, weather info and stock updates at the bottom of the screen.

KYW-TV grabs WPVI-TV anchor

Viacom's talent raiding continued last week, as CBS-owned KYW-TV Philadelphia snagged Marc Howard from ABC-owned WPVI-TV there to replace KYW-TV fixture Larry Kane as 11 p.m. anchor. That's two key positions at KYW-TV in a matter of days. General Manager Peter Dunn had come over only the week before from the NBC station group and quickly cut a deal with Howard, another Philadelphia news heavyweight, who has been with the market's top-rated station since 1977. Howard's deal with WPVI-TV doesn't run out until January, although he has been off the air since the agreement surfaced.

Ex-Anchor Charges WTXF Discrimination

Also in Philadelphia, former WTXF(TV) anchor has sued the station, claiming that he was fired because of his race. Rich Noonan, who is white, says he was fired to make room for an anchor who is African-American. Noonan's complaint, first reported by the Philadelphia Daily News, says conversations with station management not only demonstrated unlawful considerations of race but also included ethnic slurs. The station calls the charges false and says it will vigorously defend against them.

Clear Channel names regional vps

After doubling in size last year with the acquisition of the Ackerley Group, Clear Channel has reorganized its TV-station division, appointing five regional vice presidents to oversee stations. Mark Faylor: Monterey/Salinas, Santa Rosa and Eureka, Calif.; and Eugene, Ore. Steve Kimatian: Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Elmira, Utica and Watertown, N.Y. Don Perry: San Antonio; Tulsa, Okla.; and Wichita, Kan. Dave Reid: Northwest Group (Bellingham, Wash./Vancouver, B.C.; Fairbanks, Alaska). Steve Spendlove: Salt Lake City; and Bakersfield, Fresno, and Santa Maria/Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo, Calif. The five will report to Clear Channel TV President William Moll, who also directly oversees stations in Cincinnati; Jacksonville, Fla.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Mobile, Ala.; and Memphis, Tenn.

KQED's content chief

KQED(TV) San Francisco promoted John Boland from executive vice president and chief operating officer of KQED Public Broadcasting to the newly created position of chief content officer of the station's several platforms. Beginning next month, KQED said, Boland will direct the production, acquisition, programming and delivery of content through television, radio, new media and educational services.

Davis to manage Raleigh, N.C., duop

Sinclair must have liked what it saw. The group owner of 62 TVs in 39 markets has tapped Neal Davis to run its Raleigh, N.C., weblet duopoly, WLFL(TV)/WRDC(TV) (they are WB and UPN affiliates, respectively). Davis had been GM of Nexstar's WMBD-TV Peoria, Ill., but had also been running Sinclair's Fox affiliate, WYZZ-TV Bloomington, Ill., under a seven-year LMA deal.