On April 27, mlive reports, Sinclair-owned FOX affiliate WSMH will stop airig a 10:00 p.m. news cast produced by Meredith-owned CBS affiliate WNEM. Instead, it will turn to Sinclair-operated NBC affiliate WEYI to fill that time slot.
WNEM will continue to produce a 10:00 p.m. show, but it will air on its digital subchannel.
Sinclair operates WEYI under a joint sales agreement. WEYI was part of Barrington Broadcasting Group which was bought by Sinclair in 2013.
As part of that Barrington deal, Howard Stirk Holdings LLC, owned by Armstrong Williams, whose conservative TV commentary show has aired on Sinclair stations for more than a decade, acquired the licenses for WEYI and WWMB Myrtle Beach. Officials from Sinclair said the station group became a “service provider” to those two stations under the deal, according to trade publication reports.
In other words, Sinclair doesn’t want to pay WNEM anymore to produce a news show when it can invest in its own news team at WEYI.[WEYI news director Mike] Schram said the station plans to air exclusive content shown nowhere else in mid-Michigan on its new 10 p.m. program as part of a “revamped newscast.”
“We are excited to bring new energy to Mid-Michigan TV viewers at a time and on a channel they’ve been accustomed to,” he said.
No layoffs are expected for WNME in the move. “We hope people do find that channel and watch the show,” said Zara Maldonado, president of NABET local 54048, which represnts “about 50” WNEM employees. “That means more work for us. If we’re getting the rating and the station is making money, that means they have to keep that work staffed. That’s what we want and that’s what we’re hoping for.”