By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

No news would be bad news

The Boston Globe’s Jenn Abelson reports today that Ed Ansin, the Miami-based owner of WHDH-TV (Channel 7), is looking to add WLVI-TV (Channel 56) to his roster of television stations, following a similar story in the Boston Herald’s Inside Track a couple of weeks ago.

This is bad news on two levels. The most serious effect of this could be the cancellation of Channel 56’s long-running 10 p.m. newscast, which launched in the mid-1980s with then-governor Michael Dukakis appearing on the set to congratulate anchor Jack Hynes.

Secondarily, this deal would be a significant victory for Ansin, whose flashy, fast-paced, graphics-heavy newscast on Channel 7 represented a diminution of local television news. Unfortunately, the Channel 7 formula proved to be popular enough that it was copied by competitors.

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  1. Anonymous

    On a brighter note, Jack Hynes is the only guy in town who could count on his kid supporting him in his old age, (as if Jack needed it!)John III has made A LOT of money in real estate development.

  2. Anonymous

    Does anyone actually watch the 10 o’clock news on Channel 56?

  3. Anonymous

    This is also unfortunate in that a lot of good people will be put out of work.

  4. Man Who thinks network TV sucks anyways

    Methinks this may be the lessor of two evils here. At least we’ll still have “local” (sort of) ownership of Ch.56…there was a strong possibility that NBC (as in, the network entity itself) was looking to buy 56 and that’d be (arguably) even more of a travesty than Ansin getting it.

  5. Anonymous

    I watch the 10 o’clock regularly, if only so I can watch Jon Stewart at 11.

  6. Anonymous

    I hope this doesn’t mean that Joe Dwinell will be out of his TV gig. He makes the Albert Brooks charcter in Broadcast News look like David Brinkley in terms of on-air composure.Bob in Peabody

  7. Anonymous

    My wife and I watch the 10 O’Clock news. Not so much because it’s a great newscast, it’s OK at best, but because we don’t like the flash of Fox and it’s at 10pm.It’s possible that 7 will keep the newscast and try to do what BZ couldn’t. One of the forumlas Ansin and his crew followed in both Miami and Boston was that locally produced news programming was cheap to produce and easy to sell. Don’t forget, upon buying the then-CBS affiliate they dropped the morning program, put in a four-hour morning show and saw an immediate improvement in ratings.

  8. zip rzeppa's fan

    dan, you make yourself sound like a pompous and self-absorbed academic type which you’re, of course. bottom line, ch.56 puts out sleepy news product which looks cheap and is cheap to make. kind of stuff made in china. it works but it ain’t the real deal. tribune has been an improvement over gannett but still they haven’t spent much on the station’s news op in the last 12 years. tribune is embroiled in internal turmoil which would have been worse had they kept 56 so no one is sorry to see them disappear.ansin’s take-over is good for boston tv for 2 reasons – a) he’ll preserve the 10pm news battle which will still give viewers options and b) keep the station out of the hands of the big corporate media. since you’re certified liberal hypocrite, I am sure down deeep inside, you’ll appreciate, but will never admit it here or on beat the press show, that not having sumner redstone, rupert or mickey mouse co. own another tv property in this market is a good thing.

  9. Dan Kennedy

    Well, I was a Zip Rzeppa fan, too.No, I will never admit that it would be good for Boston if one of the media megacorporations were prevented from buying another TV station here. Nor would I ever write articles opposing media consolidation and railing against the FCC for pushing ownership deregulation.Oh, wait … that’s what I spent most of my career doing.Ownership issues aside, Ansin has not been good for news in this town, and he will not be good for news at Channel 56. Why can’t a local group buy the station, as happened with Channel 5 in the ’70s (a huge success) and Channel 7 in the ’80s (OK, not such a success; that’s why we’ve got Ansin)?

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