TV Station News…

…NATPE Blues, Retrans, Helo Sharing, Early Analog Shutdown Fires Up Viewers, Anchor Attacked by Massive Fly
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Belt-tightening dominates syndie tradeshow…
TV stations are occupied with other things besides buying syndicated shows if reports coming out of Las Vegas are any indication. NATPE, the annual syndie sales tradeshow is underway in Sin City, and most of the chatter is about saving money, Variety reports. Stations, under financial pressure from the double-whammy of digital conversion and the imploding economy, don’t have the usual bucks to shell out for new shows. Many are hunting for all-barter deals, the Tinseltown rag of record says.

Competing Denver stations share chopper
KMGH-TV and KUSA-TV have agreed to share a news helicopter to save money. KMGH, the local ABC affiliate, is owned by McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP), while KUSA, the local NBC station, is owned by Gannett (NYSE: GCI). The two stations will share the chopper and the news footage generated from it, “while continuing to maintain strict separation of each station’s editorial decisions and reporter assignments,” the Denver Business Journal reports.

Viewers scold WTVX for early analog shutdown
WTVX-TV in West Palm Beach, Fla., continues to get calls and messages from people who can’t find the station any longer. The CW affiliate made its full digital transition Dec. 1. The Palm Beach Postreports that the station has received around 200 angry messages from disenfranchised viewers. Others are having problems pulling in the station with digital-to-analog converter boxes. WTVX transitioned early because of circumstances involved in modifying its 1,500-foot tower near Fort Pierce.

Fisher Gets Carried on Cable One
Seattle-based Fisher Communications (NASDAQ: FSCI) on Monday said it had reached agreement in principle for carriage on Cable ONE systems. Fisher stations are carried on Cable ONE systems in Boise, Idaho Falls, Lewiston and Pocatello, Idaho. Fisher has 13 full-power TVs and seven low powers in California, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Cable ONE is based in Pheonix and serves nearly 700,000 subscribers.

Anchor Carries On Despite Facial Fly Invasion