WPTV and WSM to become ABC affiliation in the 80s

Chapter 241: WZTV to launch newscast
November 29, 1985

Tribune Broadcasting is finalizing their offer to purchase WZTV, and has plans to unveil a newscast to be launched on December 16, 1985. It will be a 30-person staff consisting of various news anchors and their talent.

Branded as "WZTV 17 News", it will consist of anchors lured away from WPIX. It also had to use a version of "Turn to News" by Gari Media Group as the news theme.

This was modeled after WPIX's "Action News" format, as well as the news format that was used by the Independent Network News.

Tribune was expected to drop several pre-empted programming uncleared by ABC, CBS or NBC, and decided to go forward into a straight general entertainment format.
Chapter 242: Media General to complete Manship deal
December 2, 1985

Media General is now completing their deal to purchase two TV stations from the Manship family. These are KRGV in Brownsville, and WBRZ in Baton Rouge, which are NBC affiliates, and previously affiliated with ABC for several years when NBC is number three.

Media General's other broadcasting interests were WXFL in Tampa, WCBD in Charleston and WJKS in Jacksonville.

This made Media General five NBC-affiliated television stations.

It is expected that General Electric had won the lottery to purchase Westinghouse-RCA for $7.5 billion, while some holdings to be divested. Once the sale is done, WKYP would revert to the old KYW calls, sending the KYW calls in Chattanooga to a new name WCHT (for Chattanooga).
Chapter 243: WCIX to improve ratings
December 6, 1985

For the first time, WCIX is improving ratings, which is about to be under Fox's hands as an owned-and-operated station next year. It has a new music package by VTS Productions, which would later be used in all Fox O&Os since 1986.

Metromedia bought Coral Television, owners of WCIX in 1983 and helped them to improve the signal to reach Broward County.

WCIX also expanded the newscasts, and introduced the "Action News" branding to the station, dubbing it as "The Ten O'Clock Action News".

WSBK was also launching a 10pm primetime newscast to compete against TVX's WLVI and Tribune's WGNE, both in the Greater Boston area.
Chapter 244: WCSB to get new look
December 11, 1985

WCSB-TV, the ABC television station in Boston is modifying their identity, retaining the "NewsCenter 7" branding and changed its format to look more like the "Eyewitness News" format that was used on WABC-TV in New York.

The theme "News Series 2000" by Frank Gari was also adopted to the station.

At the same time, General Electric announced a $7.5 billion purchase of Westinghouse-RCA, and its primary accomplishment was to purchase NBC.

Due to significant signal overlap, some stations needed to be divested. General Electric gave them a permanent waiver to keep WKYP-TV in Philadelphia and WNBC-TV in New York, citing CBS' ownership of WCAU-TV in Philadelphia and WCBS-TV in New York.
Chapter 245: Channel 9 to become educational station
December 17, 1985

KWGH-TV, the independent station in Los Angeles, is officially changing to a non-commercial station and an affiliate of PBS, under the calls of KCET. Tribune also had to sold off the station to Community Television of Southern California to avoid a duopoly with new KTLA.

Meanwhile, channel 28 was changed to KCEQ, as it became a secondary member station with non-commercial programming and a secondary PBS member station.

Also, Tribune Broadcasting has finalized its $510 million purchase of KTLA in Los Angeles, and hired most of the KWGH management to move there.

This means Los Angeles has reduced it down to three VHF independent television stations. KCOP is giving them a ratings boost from the former KWGH, which is now KCET.
December 20, 1985 (BREAKING NEWS)

It's Official Storer-CBS has Cancelled Break The Bank with Kevin O'Connell their last week of new episode is Scheduled to air in January 10, 1986 and their guests will include Vic Dunlop from the New Syndicated Sketch Comedy Series, FTV starring Don Felder.

However on January 13, 1986, A Nighttime Syndicated Version of Press Your Luck will debut hosted by Peter Tomarken and Blair Entertainment will still have syndication Distribution Rights including the Storer-CBS O&O's.

On a Related Story: Telepictures has Cancelled All-Star Blitz for a New Game Show called Make a Match but on the last minute Jim Lange was backed out from Hosting Make a Match to make way for hosting a New Game Show from Telepictures called the $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime which will debut on January 6, Bob Goen will take over and will now host Make a Match but will be renamed into Perfect Match starting January 6 however both shows will be distributed by Telepictures.
Chapter 246: Miami station to have Action News format
December 23, 1985

WTVJ is adapting the "Action News" format that Hearst's sister stations WBAL, WISN, WTAE, WSM and WDTN ever had ever since January 1986. The new WTVJ newscast would use "Action News" by Tuesday Productions as the news theme.

The version of the "Action News" format debuted in the 1970s on the three Hearst stations. WTVJ also adapted the "Circle 7" logo since WTVJ and WSFN swapped frequencies last year.

WSM and WDTN were the most recent to carry the Hearst "Action News" format. WTVJ's slogan for the new version of the news format was "Action News is everywhere."

IOTL, WCIX, which was a CBS affiliate, used the "Action News" name from 1989 to 1995, but used KCBS-TV's Action News format.
Chapter 247: New construction permit for Monterey station
December 30, 1985

A new construction permit for a Monterey station, called "KSMS" for "Salinas-Monterey-Santa Cruz" was built by a local firm of the Monterey Bay affiliate, was expected to be ABC affiliate on UHF channel 52.

Prior to that, KNTV cleared ABC programming until 1982 when cable providers piped KGO-TV in the market.

Channel 52 had to interfere with the San Francisco Bay Area TV station.

KSMS would acquire talk shows, and has plans to build a news operation, and decided to be the Bay Area's ABC affiliate for the Monterey market.
Chapter 248: LIN bid for KOMU approved
January 1, 1986

KOMU-TV officially reverted back to being a NBC affiliate after three years as an ABC affiliate, while KCBJ-TV reverts back to being an ABC affilate under the new call letters KMIZ-TV.

At the same time, LIN TV Corporation, owners of four NBC affiliates WAVY-TV in Norfolk, KXAS-TV in Dallas, KTVV in Austin and WAND-TV in Decatur, who is bidding for KOMU-TV for $976 million has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission.

LIN TV Corporation operates several radio stations.

The addition of KOMU-TV to the four LIN television stations got five television stations, so there are three VHFs and two UHFs.
Chapter 249: Action News name added to Chicago station
January 3, 1986

WMAQ-TV is adding the Action News moniker to the station, rebranding it as "Action 5 News", which was the exact clone of WKYC's "Action News" format.

The reason cited was because Chicago was one of the largest cities that didn't carry the "Action News" brand.

It is reported that WMAQ-TV and WFRV-TV would swap frequencies with WTMJ-TV, moving WMAQ and WFRV to channel 4, while sending WTMJ to channel 5, because Milwaukee are nearby neighborhood of Green Bay and Chicago.

At the same time, Hearst was closing in on the purchase of Capital Cities Communications for $4 billion, and became the world's biggest broadcaster ever, and retained all of the Hearst stations, while also having the Baton Rouge, Brownsville, Durham and Fresno stations.
Chapter 250: KSDK to modify format
January 6, 1986

KSDK is modifying their "Eyewitness News" format, changing the format to look more closer to WABC-TV's format than it was used regularly. KSDK-TV is an ABC affiliate in St. Louis owned by Pulitzer, Inc.

KSDK became an ABC affiliate in 1981, swapping affiliations with KTVI due to a group deal with Times-Mirror, and searching for stronger St. Louis programs.

Frank Gari's "News Series 2000" theme was also adopted to the station.

KMYG, channel 4 in St. Louis will obtain the "Action News" branding, which is a direct clone of the "Eyewitness News" format the sister stations of Post-Newsweek did.
Meanwhile in the Game Show World on January 6, 1986: $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime hosted by Jim Lange makes it debut in Syndication from Lorimar-Telepictures, However this is the first Game Show to offer a top prize of $1 Million in Cash.

A Week Later on January 13, 1986: The New Nighttime Press Your Luck with Peter Tomarken from Blair Entertainment makes it Syndicated Debut along with Perfect Match with Bob Goen makes it's debut as well.
Chapter 251: TVX to buy Providence construction permit
January 16, 1986

TVX Broadcast Group announced a $975 million offer to purchase the construction permit for a Providence station slated to be operating on channel 28, WFDG, which is set to debut later this year.

TVX would acquire several cartoons for the fall 1986 season, and Defenders of the Earth would made its debut on WFDG.

TVX is readily granting the permanent waiver to retain both WLVI and WFDG, citing city-grade signal overlap, with Boston station covering the Providence market and all of Rhode Island.

It is expected that channel 28 in Providence could became a translator station of channel 56 in Boston, which is set to affiliate with Fox upon the launch in October 1986.
Chapter 252: WGBH to buy Providence station
January 21, 1986

WGBH Educational Foundation, owner and licensee of non-commercial stations WGBH (channel 5) in Boston, WGBX-TV (channel 44), also in Boston and WGBY-TV (channel 57) in Springfield announces plans to buy Rhode Island Public Telecommunications Authority, owners and licensee of WSBE-TV (channel 36) in Providence/New Bedford.

WGBH was readily granting a permanent waiver to retain both the Boston, Providence and Springfield stations.

It is expected that a callsign change was expected shortly. The purchase price by WGBH cost $1.2 billion, the largest in public TV history.

WSBE-TV, along with WGBH-TV, WGBX-TV and WGBY-TV are all member stations of the Public Broadcasting Service, which is a non-commercial TV network.
Chapter 253: ABC had summer prime time show
January 27, 1986

ABC announced a new prime time offering for the summer of 1986, a revival of The Dating Game, to be hosted by Jim Lange, who was lured from the hiatus of The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime.

The reason cited that there was not enough room for a show that was fitting for a daytime audience.

The Dating Game was a Chuck Barris production and it would be a summer replacement for any of a sitcom that was currently airing on ABC.

Primetime game shows has been commonly rare on network television since 1971, and this, along with The Price is Right Special marked a comeback for primetime game shows on network television.
Chapter 254: Divesture of Wometco holdings approved
February 3, 1986

The Federal Communications Commission had announced the divesture of Wometco Enterprises' holdings. WLOS, WTVJ and WZZM would go to Hearst, while KVOS is going to Tribune Broadcasting Company, and WWHT to go to Home Shopping Network.

Wometco had owned several stations since the sign-on of WTVJ in 1949.

Wometco Enterprises and ABC had a group deal in 1983 as a compensation for the loss of WPLG to CBS via a deal with Post-Newsweek.

Meanwhile, at KMYG, they would got the "Action News" name, while KTVI got the "NewsCenter 2" brand.
Chapter 255: Callsign changed for station
February 7, 1986

Fox, the newly-minted owner of Metromedia stations is proposing to change call letters. WNEW-TV would be renamed to WFXT (IOTL, this was used as a call letters for a Boston station on channel 25), which stood for "FoX Television", while KTTV would be changed to KFXT.

This follows in pattern with the major networks that used the network as the call letters.

News Corporation will soon to be the owner of the Metromedia properties, while Fox is unveiling a new set.

At WNRW, they would planning on to launch a newscast that would clone WLVI's news format (IOTL WNRW did not have a newscast until 1995 when it was changed to WXLV, dropped the newscast in 2002, brought back in 2004 to 2005, and brought it back more recently in 2021).
Chapter 256: WNEP to get Action News branding
February 16, 1986

WNEP-TV, the ABC affiliate in Scranton is getting the "Action News" name. Scranton is one of the largest cities without carrying the "Action News" branding, but the station has used "Move Closer to Your World" since 1979.

The reason cited that this would make all viewers happier with the "Action News" branding.

The "NewsWatch 16" branding is now retired, and decided to make an emphasis to place the station decently.

WNEP-TV once holds the most successful news team in Scranton, to be the number one news leader, with ABC programming performing well in the market.