It’s been a doozy few weeks for affiliation switches already this year and the market of the Tri-Cities in Tennessee and Virginia will see an affiliation switch of its own. And unfortunately, thanks to a local station being owned by a small family-owned company, it loses a major network affiliation and therefore, local news is over on this station…
After next week’s newscasts on WKPT 19, the whole news department will shut down for good. Currently, WKPT 19 only carries weekday newscasts in the morning from 6:00-7:00am and half-hour weeknight newscasts at 6:00 and 11:00pm plus a public affairs show on Sundays at 6:30pm called A Closer Look, which is scheduled to air its final edition on Sunday January 31st with the shut down of the news department. All local newscasts on WKPT 19 will end on Friday January 29th.
This comes after WKPT 19 lost its ABC affiliation over to WJHL 11 (CBS) which will carry ABC on its second digital subchannel, WJHL 11.2. This came after WKPT 19’s owners at Glenwood Communications Corporation agreed to an affiliate extension with ABC but ABC refused and wanted to explore other options in the market, wanting to be on a station owned by a larger TV broadcast group and so WJHL 11 prevailed with WJHL 11 owned by Media General.
I’m not sure as to what new newscasts will WJHL 11 do or simulcast for its second digital subchannel, WJHL 11.2 which will soon be known as ABC Tri-Cities. The affiliation changes will take place on Monday February 1st, at which point, WKPT 19 will be home to My Network TV. Me-TV, which was previously carried on WJHL 11.2, will be seen on WKPT 19.2 which will simulcast Me-TV on low-power Class A station WAPK-CD 36.
This is another interesting affiliation switch to look forward to and one to keep a close eye on.