NBC affiliate WHDH Boston says it will run a new newscast at 10 p.m. come fall-at the expense of the new primetime Jay Leno program. The Sunbeam-owned station announced its new 10 p.m. news on its Website.
"Starting in September, you will be able to watch 7NEWS at 10 p.m. on 7NBC," reads WHDH.com. "For those of you who have a hard time staying awake, Frances Rivera and Kim Khazei will bring you a full hour of local news an hour earlier, followed by 7NEWS at 11."
WHDH's move was previously reported on the Boston Globe Website.
The NBC affiliates are to debut the as-yet untitled Leno program in the fall. General managers are mixed on the show-thankful that Leno is not jumping to another network, but fearful the program will post middling ratings and harm their late news ratings.
NBC plans to fight this:
The decision quickly drew fighting words from NBC, whose TV Network president John Eck released this statement: "WHDH's move is a flagrant violation of the terms of their contract with NBC. If they persist, we will strip WHDH of its NBC affiliation. We have a number of other strong options in the Boston market, including using our existing broadcast license to launch an NBC owned-and-operated station." -via THR.Com
Nikki Finke reports NBC has some alternatives should things with WHDH not work out:
We have a number of other strong options in the Boston market, including using our existing broadcast license to launch an NBC owned and operated station." Also playing hardball is Rick Cotton, General Counsel: “It is clear that WHDH is contractually required to air NBC programming as scheduled by the network." But the question remains: will others among NBC's long suffering affiliates also revolt? I'm told that, as of now, no other affiliates are threatening to not to carry Leno.