Spotlight Article: The Akron Canton News
First a little background information on how this came about.
Following the purchase of WAKC from ValuVision in 1996, Paxson Communications abruptly shutdown the "The North Ohio News Station" and its ABC affiliation which left everyone unemployed and Akron without it's own newscast. Only infomericals and home-shopping shows aired on the station on over-the-air Channel 23.
In June 2001, Paxson entered a partnership with NBC - which included Gannett and WKYC - to produce nightly newscasts that first aired at 6:30 & 10 PM. This came at a time when Pax began airing regular shows in the evening timeslots. During that time, the late news shifted to 9 PM, then back to 10 PM after advertisers failed to like the change in time.
Unfortunately, that agreement ended on June 30, 2001. The newscast moved to Time Warner Cable, Channel 23 and was rebranded from "Pax 23 News" to "The Akron Canton News." That is where we find ourselves today.
Now the newscast itself. The ACN (as we affectionately call it) is produced and anchored from the Akron Canton Newsroom at the corner of S. Main and Market Street every weekday evening at 6:30 and 10 PM. This is where the newscast is put together from a rundown standpoint by Executive producer Chris Hyser (6:30 PM) and producer Kim Graves (10 PM).
All the local video is shot and edited in the Akron Newsroom by a group of very dedicated professionals, most of whom worked at the old WAKC. That video is then fed via a fiber connection back to the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center in Cleveland. This is where the control room is (the same as the Channel 3 control room).
During the show, anchor Eric Mansfield sits in front a green chromakey wall in front of a camera remotely controlled from Cleveland which allows us to put a virtual set behind him. He reads from a teleprompter being fed from the Cleveland Control Room.
When we go to Weather, Eric tosses to Mark Nolan or Betsy Kling who do their forecasts from the Ch 3 Weather Plus Weathercenter. Sports is done the same way with Jim Donovan, Andy Baskin or Brian Colleran also here in Cleveland.
The newscast is then fed directly to Time Warner Cable where is then distributed to the cable audience.
Currently, there are no plans to do the newscast in High Definition, though technically the newscast is being switched in the HiDef Channel 3 control room. Perhaps that will change in the future as more people gravitate toward HD on cable too.
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