By Alan Pergament
Stay tuned for "Let's Ask America," "The List" and "RightThisMinute."
Those are among the original programs that the E.W. Scripps Co. plans to bring to Buffalo once it becomes the owner of WKBW-TV.
Scripps management officials made that clear during a conference call earlier this week after it announced it had purchased the ABC affiliate from Granite Broadcasting and the hedge fund that has controlled it for seven years.
According to an Aug. 2013 Scripps release, “Let’s Ask America” "is a game show where contestants compete for cash prizes from the comfort of their homes while connected to the show via their webcams. Host Kevin Pereira tests their knowledge of the American mindset on current events and popular culture."
The List "is an entertainment news program that helps viewers to get caught up on the top stories of the day. It delivers user-friendly, easy-to-understand list formats that provide information that will improve viewers' everyday lives."
The release added that "Scripps produces, in collaboration with Cox Media and Raycom Media, "RightThisMinute," a daily program that gives viewers the first look at the best videos of the day before they go viral." It actually airs on Channel 7 already at 1 a.m. weekdays.
It is unclear in what time slots that Scripps will carry the programs once the FCC gives it approval to take over Channel 7.
Cleveland's Scripps affiliate airs "RightThisMinute" airs at 4 p.m. daily, "The List" at 7 p.m. daily and "Let's Ask America" at 7:30 p.m. daily.
Channel 7 hasn't done well lately in those time slots, so they would seem to be ideal places to run them here.
In other things of interest from the conference call, a Scripps official said that Channel 7 has an "undeveloped digital audience” and that's one of the areas it expects to improve.
Scripps also hope to improve the revenues of the station, which it said were $18 million last year. It confirmed that Channel 7 placed fourth in revenues in the Buffalo market. It didn't give the order of the three affiliates ahead of it. The three, in no particular revenue order, are Channel 2, Channel 4 and Channel 29.
Finally, one executive noted that Scripps saw "lots of opportunity for audience growth," praised the staff's "passion for journalism and the community" and added the "management team is resourceful and passionate about the community."
We'll also how have to stay tuned to see how much Scripps will invest in the news department to make it more competitive with Channel 2 and Channel 4, but so far all signs are positive that it knows what it has to do.
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