Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 13, 1976 · Page 87
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 87

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 13, 1976
Page 87
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Page 87 article text (OCR)

ABC may lead fight for expanded news sfyows By Jay Fredericks When ABC agreed to pay Barbara Walters the magnificent sum of one million of the best to co-anchor its evening news show, the network announced at the same time that newscasts probably would be expanded to 45 minutes to take fuller advantage of Ms. Walter's forte, which is interviewing. ABC made its announcement, however, without checking with its affiliates. Well, such hooraw and screaming you never did hear. The affiliates, practically to a man, informed ABC that if the evening network newscasts were expanded to 45 minutes then ABC would be carrying that extra 15 minutes all by itself. The affiliates wanted no part of it. A 45 m i n u t e network news show would mean either that the local station would have to give up 15 minutes of its own highly profitable local news show or would have to expand the local news another 45 minutes to make a full hour and half of news. Most local stations were unwilling to give up 15 minutes in the money-making 6-8 p.m. time segment, which is now given over to syndicated shows on which the stations sell their own commercials and on which they make a great deal of money. So ABC gave lip its plan and Ms. Walters is going to have to earn her million bucks some other way. In spite of all the g r u m b l i n g , however, there does seem to be a sort of understanding between the networks (not only ABC. but also CBS and NBC) and their affiliates that the day of the 30 minute network news show is about at an end. No sensible program director can argue that half an hour, less commercials, is too little time to try to sum up each day the happenings of this increasingly complex world. But because any increase in news time will mean a loss of revenue producing local t i m e , the b a t t l e with the affiliates is bound to be a long and bloody one. Of course, some of the affiliates have made what seems to them the perfectly sensible suggestion that if the networks want a longer newscast then let the networks schedule it later in the e v e n i n g , in p r i m e t i m e , and take the needed t i m e from the network's own schedule of s i t u a t i o n comedies a n d a c t i o n Sunday Solo -shows. You can imagine what the networks reply to this is. Y o u ' l l have to imagine it since even though more colorful and expressive language is allowed in the newspapers these days, restrictions haven't been lifted that far. What the networks want isn't a 45 minute newscast, of course. What they want is a 'full hour. But ABC probed for that 15 minutes just to see what kind of a reaction they'd get and what they got convinced them it was useless to talk about another half hour. While ABC. CBS and NBC all want the prestige of being the first network to expand the evening news show, the three of them know too that the first network to try it is going to be the one with the affiliate war on its hand. After all, after one network succeeds in making the change and making it stick and the ratings show the viewers accept it, then the affiliates of the second and third networks to make the switch will fall into line much more easily. A year or so ago. when NBC's Edwin Newman was in Charleston plugging his book. Spi'iiking frankly. I talked to him and I asked him about expanded newscasts. His reply was interesting. "If all we're going to do is just more of w h a t we're doing right now." Newman said, "then I don't think we need an extra 15 or 30 minutes. If news times is expanded to 60 minutes then I think we're going to have to make some changes in our format. It would be less than productive to devote another half hour to doing just what we're already doing. A couple of columns or so ago I said something to the effect that the reason WTIP and WTIO-FM don't have to have different programming is because its signal is below a certain level. I'm wrong. The reason, I've been informed by several more knowledgeable persons, is that at present the non-duplication rule applies only to cities with more than 100.000 population. This will change in May, 1977. however. Effective May 1 of next year, new FCC rules will limit the amount of duplicated programming to not more than 50 per cent in ci- Television Movies Fridfnv "OLYMPIC VISIONS" (1973) * *''z. 9 p.m.. (BO. A documentary about the 1972 M u n i c h Summer Olympics that isn't Ss good as it should Have been, although this edited version may move better than the original. It's actually a compilation of shorts by five different directors, each concentrating on one event or group of people. (The film was originally released as I'isinn.i f Ktfihi. but three of the segments have been c u t ) . "THE CULPEPPER CATTLE COMPANY" (1972) ' "-a. 9 p.m.. Q CD. A great deal of effort, on the part of the cameramen and art directors, has been expended to give this western an authentic look, but it isn't much more than a routine yarn about the "coming of age" of a young man who signs on as cook's helper on a huge cattle drive. Gary Grimes is p r o p e r l y green as the kind who is forced to become a man when he is confronted by killing, rustling and the like. Not surpris- i n g l y , the young man leaves the cattle drive to stand up against a ruthless land owner group of religious pacifists. If you can't guess the ending, tune in. I M r j i M 1 t u r n 1" pi'K' 1 '.'Iin ftcJ.-nt'"/ the world's finest | multi-band radio ...powered to tune in the world! ' S Q . F T . INSTALLED 1 WE COVER ALL TRIM AND OVERHANG HOME REMODELING SPECIALS *ROOM ADDITIONS * ENCLOSED PORCHES *GARAGES * ROOFS * KITCHENS ^BATHROOMS ETC. CALL NOW! SAVE ALUMINUM BUILDING PRODUCTS CORP. 2141M3CCORKLEAVE. mi 7O7 flOCO DAY ST.ALBANS,W.VA. HI..l-Zf-?OW .mfc. SH()W,TWK. June i:i..W7f) ' Yffmm 349' 5 * SUPER PERFORMANCE FEATURES SEE THESE LOCAL DEALERS · '"SODARO'S 1 '( SMITH'S ' ELECTRONS FURH.HPPL 302 W. Wmh. St.'I I 'gigChimney . . . Charleston I V ,, CroH loner. . ties with a population of 25-100,000. And on May 1. 1979. duplication allowance will drop to 25 per cent. This is exclusive of news and public affairs programming. Last season, NBC inflicted on us "The Montefuscos." It flopped. Last season. CBS gave us "Joe and Sons." It was cancelled. It was replaced by "Popi," also cancelled. We are now undergoing "Viva Valdez," which , it has been announced, will be cancelled. Question: If w h a t the viewers wanted was ethnic situation comedy, how come nobody's watching? Great Paint! Only 'S'Vgal. (Interior) JAXSAN the richmon's point wilri the poorman's pttce now available. . BUY QUALITY PAINT DIRECT FROM THE MANUFACTURER SAVE! 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