Barrington Broadcasting Group, LLC and Granite Broadcasting Corporation announced that effective March 2, 2009 WSTM-TV and WTVH-TV will be operated jointly from the WSTM-TV studios in Syracuse, NY. Barrington will operate both stations under a joint sales agreement (JSA) and shared services agreement (SSA) with Granite, owner of WTVH-TV.
Under the terms of the agreements, Barrington will continue to operate WSTM-TV and provide advertising, sales, promotion, administrative services, and selected programming to WTVH-TV. This arrangement between Barrington and Granite will create a better and more efficient operation of two outstanding local television stations. A similar arrangement provides that Granite will provide advertising, sales, promotion, administrative services and selected programming to Barrington TMs Peoria, Illinois station, WHOI-TV.
In making this announcement, Barrington TMs Chief Executive Officer Jim Yager stated, We are delighted to be working with a forward-thinking company like Granite. Together, our companies and stations will focus the combined resources of these great stations on becoming even better community citizens and at the same time providing measurable benefits for our viewers and advertisers. Granite Broadcasting Corporation TMs Chief Executive Officer Don Cornwell said, This arrangement provides opportunities for substantial operating efficiencies by allowing us to use existing infrastructure to expand the breadth of local news and services provided to the viewers of Central NY, while enhancing the revenue and profitability of both stations.
Under the terms of the JSA and SSA, plans include expense reductions through the combining of resources and the reduction of some staff positions. While details of expense and staff reductions have not yet been released, those affected will receive a generous severance package and job placement assistance will be offered at company expense.
One of the chief advantages of the shared service operation of WSTM and WTVH will be the ability to offer local and national news, as well as programming of community interest in new and varied time periods, giving viewers greater opportunity to watch at their convenience. The Granite and Barrington plan is expected to take full advantage of this opportunity, offering more choices in terms of the breadth and amount of local news. It will look to provide newscasts in time periods not currently programmed with local news allowing viewers more access to Central NY news and information.
WSTM and WTVH actively serve, support and promote many local charities and community organizations in Greater Syracuse, Oswego, Watertown, Rome, Utica, Ithaca and Cortland along with all the other communities in Central and Northern New York. This service and support will be enhanced by the combined resources of the stations and their ability to cover an even larger geography.
Along with the new agreements, Barrington will continue to own and operate WSTQ-TV, the CW affiliate for Central New York and Weather Plus digital channel 3.3, Central New York TMs only 24 hour local weather channel available over the air on DT 3.3 and on Time Warner Cable digital cable channel 133. Together these four (4) stations will provide a great variety of local news programming, 24 hour local weather, great network programming from NBC, CBS and CW and popular syndicated programming like Dr. Phil, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Access Hollywood, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Additionally, the stations carry big time college and professional sports such as NFL Football including the 2009 Super Bowl on NBC, College Basketball including the March Madness and the Final Four on CBS, College Football, Yankees Baseball, the PGA Tour and much, much more.
In addition to providing television programming to the community, WSTM, WTVH, WSTQ and Weather Plus will combine resources on the Internet with CNYcentral.com, Barrington TMs community based website in Syracuse. CNYcentral.com provides news, weather and sports on line coverage along with community and entertainment information and event schedules.
Barrington was formed in 2003 to acquire and operate television stations in smaller markets across the United States. Barrington currently owns, operates, or supports the operations of twenty three network affiliated television stations. Barrington is owned and controlled by Pilot Group, with management as its partner. Pilot Group is a non-traditional private investment firm founded in 2003 by a group of operating executives who actively help its management partners achieve their goals.
Granite operates in geographically diverse markets reaching over 6.0% of the nation's television households. The Company's station portfolio consists of four NBC affiliates, one ABC affiliate, one CBS affiliate, one major market MyNetwork TV affiliate and one major market independent station. The NBC affiliates are KSEE-TV, Fresno-Visalia, California, WEEK-TV, Peoria-Bloomington, Illinois, WISE-TV, Ft. Wayne, Indiana and KBJR-TV, Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. The ABC affiliate is WKBW-TV, Buffalo, New York, The CBS affiliates are WTVH-TV, Syracuse, New York and WBNG-TV, Binghamton, New York. The MyNetwork affiliate is WMYD-TV, Detroit, Michigan and the independent station is KOFY-TV in San Francisco, California.