PHOTO INDEX: WYOU TV INTERACTIVE LOGO, WDAU TV COLOR SLIDE, AND PROMOTIONAL PIECE OF THE OLD WDAU TV NEWS. (SOURCE: WDAU TRIBUTE WEBSITE).
There were rumors on the street that there might be a TV simulcast between WBRE TV and WYOU. But no one was expecting Nexstar Broadcasting to eliminate an entire news operation. But they did Friday afternoon, the classic time frame money saving corporations and bean counters use to lower the boom on people. It was announced that WYOU News, Interactive or not, would cease to exist. Gone. Kaput! Pull the plug. Finished.
For those of us who can remember, WYOU's grandfather if you will, was WDAU TV. A CBS affiliate, 'DAU was the long time ratings leader in the area. WDAU TV News was the rock the other TV stations built their news operations around. So when you shut down WYOU TV, you are not just laying off an entire news team, you are ignoring the historical significance of TV news in this region. For nearly 58 years, the local CBS outlet, Channel 22 has provided news to generations of viewers. After 11PM tonight, that will cease to exist.
As I mentioned this afternoon on the Corbett show on WILK, our local media is shrinking. Right before our eyes. Newspapers of old that used to be called broadsheets are now reduced to the size of those weekly readers you used to get in grade school. News is no longer something that is informational, now, in this short attention span, American Idol society we live in, news needs to be entertaining. We are rapidly becoming an uninformed public. And we can't blame the loyal viewers and readers in this area who thirst for news, we blame the times. News and information has become expendable. On the scale of importance, it is pretty much in the lower top 40. The lack of information and the elimination of a broadcast news outlet diminishes our community. It is an insideous attack on our freedom. Our right to know.
To the staff of WYOU TV, many of whom I had the pleasure to work with, I say thank you for your professionalism and your dedication to the community broadcasters are supposed to serve. Your commitment far outweighed the one you got from your bosses.
In the coming days, much will be written about this move by the powers that be over at 62 South Franklin in Wilkes Barre. Many adjectives will be used to articulate this set of circumstances. Right now, I can only conjure up one to describe this news on this day: UNTHINKABLE.