New partnership dramatically transforms the news landscape in West Palm Beach
Fri, October 22, 2010 by Tim King
A new era in West Palm Beach television starts on Jan. 1, 2011, when WPTV, the market's NBC affiliate, begins producing 17 hours of weekly news programming for WFLX, the market's FOX affiliate.
WPTV, owned and operated by The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP), has aired the market's top-ranked newscasts for decades. WFLX, owned and operated by Raycom Media, launched in 1982 and was a FOX affiliate when the network launched in 1986. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, WPTV will produce newscasts for WFLX from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. seven nights a week, and 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday.
"We're energized by the prospects of extending our reach into this market's homes by up to three additional hours each day," said Steve Wasserman, WPTV's vice president and general manager. "As the most-trusted television news brand in the region, we're eager to work with a great partner like WFLX to enhance our news team's engagement with this community."
When the partnership begins on New Year's Day, it marks the first time any of the nine Scripps stations have produced an on-air newscast for a non-Scripps station. WPTV will hire more than a dozen news professionals to generate the WFLX-branded newscasts, which will be produced on a separate set at WPTV's Banyan Boulevard studios.
"This is a partnership that will be great for both organizations and our viewers," said John Spinola, the vice president and general manager of WFLX. "Our reputation for delivering the finest in entertainment and sports programming will definitely be enhanced by this relationship with the leading news organization in Florida."
WPTV, an NBC affiliate since signing on more than 50 years ago, offers more locally produced programming than its competitors. Its early evening newscasts attract more viewers than competing network affiliates combined. Its corporate parent, The E.W. Scripps Company, is a diverse media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers, local news and information Web sites, and features syndication.
WFLX, a FOX Affiliate, is owned by Raycom, an employee-owned company, that is one of the nation's largest broadcasters and owns and/or operates 47 television stations in 36 markets and 18 states. Raycom stations cover 12.6% of U.S. television households and employ nearly 3,500 individuals in full and part-time positions. In addition to television stations, Raycom owns Raycom Sports (a marketing, production and events management and distribution company in Charlotte); Raycom Post (a post production facility in Burbank, California), and Broadview Media (a post production facility based in Montgomery). Further information about Raycom can be found at the corporate website, http://www.raycommedia.com/.