Birmingham Post-Herald from Birmingham, Alabama on March 7, 1986 · 42
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Birmingham Post-Herald from Birmingham, Alabama · 42

Birmingham, Alabama
Issue Date:
Friday, March 7, 1986
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Ng 4 Kudw Magwim liwiinftww few Hwvld Friday Mth 7 1916 Looking at 3 B WDBB’i newt show director Mark Gray checks the station's control room before a newscast ly KATHY KEMP KUMUNptiHr Tuscaloosa - ym have to admire a guy like David DuBose He wanted his own television station and instead of listening to everybody who said it couldn’t be done he went out and built iL From scratch At ace 21 That was II months and 19 million ago This week WDBB-TV Channel 17 should be available — in stereo - on most Jefferson County cable television systems as well as by antenna pickup for cable holdouts The station's new tower which is taller than New York's World Trade Center towers and sits on ISO acres of land near the Tuscaloosa-Walker county line enables the Channel 17 signal to reach as far south as Clanton as far north as Cullman as far east as Talladega and into Columbus Miss to the west That's 11000 square miles and about I million people “We've gotten overwhelmingly positive reaction from being on the air far less than three weeks in the Birmingham area" DuBose says “We've gotten support from the viewers and the advertisers as well We can’t help but think this is going to be a big hit" Unlike most independent stations (or stations not affiliated with one of the three major networks) WDBB has its own news team and presents a one-hour news show weeknightsatl Instead of focusing on the latest murder or fire WDBB tries to report on topics that are of interest to the most people The daily goings-on in the Alabama Legislature are a primary concern A full-time WDBB capital-bureau reporter brings viewers the latest news from Montgomery And there also is a Birmingham bureau DuBoae can’t kelp but wonder if his station's entry into the Birmingham market is what is prompting WBRC-TV Channel 1 to open a bureau in Tuscaloosa neat month But Nick Bolton WBRCs vice president and general manager says it's coincidental that his station is expanding Us Tuscaloosa coverage just as WDBB is gaining Birmingham viewers “Our plans started almost a year ago” Bolton says “We are really a (regional) as weU as a local station far Birmingham And I felt U was time to really expand into not only the Tuscaloosa area but several other markets as well It s a little premature to talk about it but you might see us 1 in a couple of other markets in tbe future” Like Bolton DuBose doesn't look at WDBB as competition for the “big boys" in Birmingham But he believes his news but we felt that Birmingham was one of the few Top 50 markets where there weren't three competitors in the news race” DuBoae says “There's usually an ABC NBC and CBS affiliate doing the news (WBMG-TV Channel 42 Birmingham's CBS affiliate does not have a local news program) We felt like we had an opportunity to come in and do something different from what the other two stations were doing “We're not head-to-head competition at alL We do ours totally in prime time (I to 10 pm) We're trying to reach an audience that may not be home in time far that I o’clock newscast and may want to go to bed before that 10 o'clock newscast' if they're like me” DuBose hired three news professionals — news director Bob Gambacurta a former capital-bureau reporter and anchor for WSFA-TV in Montgomery Mary Brown former weekend weather anchor for Birmingham's WBRC and sports director Gus Hergert formerly of WOWL-TV in Florence — to anchor the WDBB news show They are aided by about 15 other full-time news personnel including reporters and photographers “We concentrate on news you can use” DuBose says “Information-oriented news Instead of covering the latest murder down the street we'd rather do an in-depth piece on the economics involved in the Galleria” WDBB is the only station in the Birming ham viewing area that is on the air 24 hours a day (As of this week WBRC m longer broadcasts all night) The classic old movies and television shows are among the station's big selling points but viewers also can tune in to more recent movies such as “The Howling” and “Escape From New York” and even fint-run sports shows such as last month's “Friday Night Ringside" a boxing match in Atlantic City between Howard Davis and Joe Manley And WDBB bas tht-exclusive rights to show'University of Alabama baseball in the Birmingham viewing area as well as tbe Birmingham area rerun rights to such popular shows as "Family Ties" and “Cheers” DuBose also claims to schedule more ''show will supplement those of WBRC and WVTM-TV Channel II and may even replace them for some viewers “It is very expensive to do a newscast la

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