FIRST ON THE BLOG: A major shakeup in Michiana TV news is about to happen next week and affiliation changes are taking place as well…
Today, the blog has learned that WSBT 22 will acquire the FOX affiliation from WSJV 28. This means that WSBT 22 will carry FOX as FOX Michiana on WSBT 22.2. Because it will broadcast in HD, the WSBT 22 First Alert Weather Channel on WSBT 22.3 will be effectively discontinued. And because FOX is moving away from WSJV 28, it will switch to H&I: Heroes and Icons. All of these changes take place next Monday, August 1st.
But its not just that, it’s also about television newscasts. WSJV 28’s news operation is in its final week with the operations being shut down on Sunday. From Monday August 1st, the day FOX Michiana launches, WSBT 22 will air two LIVE weekday morning news hours from 7:00-9:00am on the channel (WSBT 22 News – First in the Morning on FOX Michiana) and will expand its half-hour 10:00pm newscast to a full hour (WSBT 22 News at 10:00 on FOX Michiana). Currently, the channel is home to SBT2, WSBT 22’s Independent channel on WSBT 22.2 but will soon air FOX programming instead. I’m not sure yet as to what WSBT 22 will offer for local news on weekends on the new subchannel, as to whether the 10:00pm newscast will remain as a half-hour or expand to a full hour as well.
The new 7:00-9:00am WSBT 22-produced newscast for FOX Michiana will compete against WBND 57 (ABC)’s two-hour weekday morning extension on its sister station, WCWW 25 (CW) and the new hour-long 10:00pm newscast, produced by WSBT 22, will also compete against WBND 57’s half-hour 10:00pm newscast for WCWW 25. They’ll also compete on weekends at 10:00pm.
Meanwhile over at WSJV 28, the news operations are shutting down and Heroes and Icons will be shown instead with just two employees based at WSJV 28 while the rest are being shipped to Quincy Media’s other stations or being laid off. And Quincy Media will continue to own and operate WSJV 28, just under an H&I affiliate.
According to WSBT 22, the new FOX Michiana channel will be found on the following:
- Antenna/Over-the-Air: Channel 22.2 (as we’ve previously mentioned before)
- DISH Network: Channel 30
- Comcast Cable: Channel 16
Bob Montgomery and Leanne Tokars will anchor the extra two hours of local morning news from 7:00-9:00am with WSBT 22 First Alert Weather from AMS/Member Meteorologist Cari Peugeot. Rick Schutt will continue to anchor the 10:00pm news but in a new and expanded hour-long format with WSBT 22 First Alert Weather from AMS-CBM/Sealed Chief Meteorologist Matt Rudkin.
Another reminder starting next Monday August 1st…
- WSBT 22
- Channel 22.1 = CBS – WSBT 22
- Channel 22.2 = FOX – FOX Michiana
- Channel 22.3 = None (the 24-hour local weather channel is discontinued)
- WSJV 28
- Channel 28.1 = H&I – Heroes and Icons
- Channel 28.2 = None (H&I moves to 28.1 to replace the FOX affiliation)
Again, all of these changes take place starting next Monday, August 1st. This is going to be a hectic time for those living in Michiana indeed. In the end, the market will soon go back to three news operations once again and a great example of consolidation taking shape. Stay tuned to the blog for more developments if anything else takes place…