Media Merger TV-12 Owner May Take over TV-25 Operations as Soon as Today

By Ostrow, Nicole | The Florida Times Union, March 17, 2000 | Go to article overview

Media Merger TV-12 Owner May Take over TV-25 Operations as Soon as Today


Ostrow, Nicole, The Florida Times Union


Jacksonville's ABC affiliate could be signing off today as an independent station.

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday approved the sale of WJXX TV-25 to Gannett Co. Inc., which also owns WTLV TV-12, the local NBC affiliate. TV-12 will take over WJXX's news operation.

WJXX's last newscast as an Allbritton Communications Group station could come as early as this morning if all the paperwork is completed, said Ken Tonning, general manager of TV-12. He said Gannett hopes to have the paperwork completed by 10 a.m.

"It's one of those things you don't know until the signatures are on the documents and the check is transmitted," he said, adding that he's not anticipating any problems.

Viewers won't notice any changes in the news schedules on either station, Tonning said, but they will see some different faces. About 20 TV-25 employees will be joining the TV-12 operation, Tonning said, including anchorwoman Karen Adams.

Most of the news shows will originate at the TV-12 studios and be simulcast on TV-25. TV-25 will keep its 7 p.m. newscast, he added; TV-12 did not have a newscast in that slot. Also, TV-25's morning show will still start at 5:30 a.m., although TV-12's morning show starts at 5 a.m.

Within six weeks, Tonning said he hopes to start an improved newscast called First Coast News, which will expand news coverage across the entire marketplace.

"In the short term [the sale] gives [viewers] a more comprehensive, more in-depth newscast," he said. "It will give us the resources to establish news bureaus."

TV-12 is also expanding its newsroom and building a new set, Tonning said.

He couldn't comment on the TV-25 workers not coming to TV-12, except to say that some are moving to Allbritton stations and others have found jobs at other Jacksonville stations or in different markets.

Jim Church, TV-25's acting general manager, declined to comment yesterday. …

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