Well, the day has finally come. Anchor Paula Francis commented on the impending takeover in a Facebook post last night, writing:
An emotional day here at 8 News Now. We just heard from our outgoing owners, Landmark Dominion, who hand over the keys to Nexstar at midnight. We go from private ownership to a large, public corporation. Very good move for both companies.
Television is a fun, magical business to be in; Landmark and the Batten Family have made sure that 8 News Now (you might remember us as Eyewitness News) always had the tools and the resources to do our very best for Fabulous Las Vegas. I feel proud and lucky to have been here for 27 years, but they owned the station for 37 years!!
Fun, magical, but yes, still a business. The demands of the marketplace make it hard for owners of just one or two TV stations to be profitable. That’s the reality which brought about this sale. We expect the new owners will recognize what’s good, and keep it and tweak it, but also to make improvements where we may need it. Viva Las Vegas and 8 News Now. Smile on!
Many comments on the post warn Nexstar not to mess with the station and anchors they’ve come to love:
“I hope that they leave WHAT ISN’T BROKEN ALONE!!! You guys are simply the best. I hope they listen to the viewers…. You are amazing and love watching you nightly.” said Cherrie Servocky Burns.
“Let’s just hope that the new owners realize the importance of having personalities that are recognizable in this market. From the outside looking in, Las Vegas looks easy but if there is not a level of loyalty, there is also a huge minus in the equation.” added Mike Henle.
Some viewers weren’t so optimistic:
“Nexstar equals Death Star. They could care less about the rich history of KLAS.” warned Hank Tester.
It will be interesting to see what kind of changes Nexstar has in store for the station, and whether it will impact viewership in any way. Only time will tell.