Gray to Combine Fort Wayne ABC and NBC Affiliates Into Single News Brand

By Kevin Eck 

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Gray owned Fort Wayne, Ind., stations WPTA and Fort Wayne’s NBC are set to become one brand called 21Alive News in early January of 2023.

A Gray spokesperson told TVSpy they are combining news operations into one news brand, not one station.

“The two news products were produced by the same newsroom for more than a decade,” said Gray. “There are no staff reductions planned. Rather, the move allows us to repurpose redundant resources into new programs and time period launches throughout the year. This allows us to better serve the Ft. Wayne community with more product at more convenient times.”

Starting January 9, 2023, the combined station air fifteen hours of news each week. Fort Wayne NBC will stop airing evening newscasts on December 16.

The two stations combined after what was NBC affiliate WISE was acquired by Quincy in 2016. The two stations were then part of the Quincy Broadcasting sale to Gray in 2021.

Fort Wayne’s NBC anchor Linda Jackson will anchor alongside WPTA’s Krista Miller and meteorologist Chris Daniels for a 4 p.m. newscast.

WPTA chief meteorologist Matt Leach will join Miller and Jackson at 5 p.m. while WPTA anchor Brien McElhatten and sports director Zach Groth will join Miller and Leach at 6. Groth will join McElhatten and Leach at 11.

“The expansion will allow our team to focus on delivering more valuable content to our viewers,” said news director Tom Powell. “Our First Alert Weather Team is devoted to alerting your family first about impactful weather. We also have more investigative journalists dedicated to digging deeper into the stories that matter most.”

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