Spotlight Feature: So Long Akron Canton News
This first part of the year has been a difficult one for several reasons...the economy is connected to every single one of them. A tough advertising reality is forcing change that has not been easy to deal with.
While the specifics are important only to those affected, I must say that losing colleagues and friends is especially difficult. As you know, this week marks the end of journey for WKYC's Akron Canton News News that has been a tough go from the start.
First, the news lost its "over the air" broadcast home on WVPX/Channel 23. It was Paxson Communications' shortsightedness that ended the partnership between Pax and Gannett, effectively killing the Akron News before it really had a chance to get off the ground. Fortunately, Bud Paxson and his gang were forced out, as the struggling network was rebranded ION and continues to fight for its life. Specifically, it gives us some peace of mind that Bud Paxson failed in his own mission.
However, ION would have been smart to consider a deal with WKYC to continue the newscast which would not have only benefited the Akron area, but their station with plenty more viewers sampling their station. It was not meant to be.
Then, Time Warner came along like a knight in shining armor and saved the day - or did they just bandage the carcass and hope it would come back to life.
At first, we were encouraged that TWC was out to make the cable deal work. But after numerous channel shufflings to accommodate the Indians new network, SportsTime Ohio - the show was surrounded by public access and could not find a permanent home except between the community calendar and the blackness of empty tv space. It didn't work. It couldn't work.
Finally, after Channel 3 threatened to end the show because of bad advertising sales, TWC ramped up their efforts with a new sales staff. There was a big gathering of community leaders from both Akron and Canton who were committed to saving the show. We thought we were back on track, but the little engine that could, would find no more steam.
Now this week, the final curtain falls...and the show officially comes to an end. Yes, people were laid off and there is little chance of someone reviving the broadcast. But, we say a simple thank you to Eric Mansfield, Executive Producer Chris Hyser and all the talented men and women who believed in their city right up to the very end.
Rest in Peace, ACN.
Disclaimer: The comments are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of WKYC or Gannett Broadcasting.Please post your comments below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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