Newsplex gets Comcast boost

Comcast's takeover of Adelphia Cable is proving a boon for the local Gray Television stations as they land prime spots lower on the dial, while their fiercest competitors get the boot– or the less desirable spots Newsplex stations now hold.

"It's huge," says Newsplex general manager Roger Burchett. "It'll make a huge difference immediately." Starting December 28, WCAV CBS19 moves from the wastelands of cable channel 18 to primo channel 6, a spot now held by WTVR in Richmond– which is being dropped from Comcast cable. WAHU FOX27 takes WTTG's channel 9, but the Washington Fox station will still be available on channel 18 for those who like "If it bleeds, it leads" for their 10 o'clock news. And the Newsplex scores cable channel 2 for its newest station, My C'Ville, which will debut classic, Hawaii Five-0-style television on or before December 28.

Richmond stations aren't all being shown the door: WWVT NBC 12 and WRIC, the ABC channel 8 station, remain where they are. And NBC29's newest offering, CW29, continues on cable 17.

Another casualty beneficiary of the Comcast shake-up: TBN, the Trinity Broadcast Network, is demoted from channel 20 to 98. Oops, TBN is promoted to 20 from the bottom of the dial, putting the religious station closer to the mainstream.

And one more harbinger of change in the new world of Comcast: Richmond cable TV subscribers are looking at a price increase the beginning of the year, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

9 comments

Maybe NBC 29 will now have to start covering CHARLOTTESVILLE news instead of all the Shenandoah Valley stuff. I've already converted to CBS 19 and know a lot of other people who have done so as well. NBC 29 has let us down, so I think this is great news for the new guys!!!

CN,

I agree with your assessment, except I scratch Laura French and Dana Hackett. You're right, the only one even interesting covering the Valley is Matt T. One girl named Melinda looks like a deer in headlights. The new girl with the CW could be a good add to my Fantasy news team. The new gitl on the weekend of 19 isn't bad either.

Will the stations really be broadcasting in HD within 90 days? Can this biblical-type event really happen? I guess we'll find out by March 1st.

My preference is NBC29. Their coverage of Charlottesville and the Shenandoah Valley area are is preferred to the "Charlottesville only" preference of the Charlottesville Newsplex.

The new guys are great! They deserve their due. They continue to get involved in the community and cover local news that's important to Charlottesville.
You can start to tell a real difference in the quality of newscast now and that only helps the local abc, cbs and fox stations grow in popularity.
Our family loves the commitment to local high school sports!

I agree. NBC 29 is not MY preferred station. I can barely find out what's going on in Charlottesville because some Tamera girl is sitting in some Waynesboro newspaper room talking about cows. Come on, give me CHARLOTTESVILLE news! Thanks CBS 19, you have converted me to your news! Stephanie is great and the rest of the news team is solid. NBC 29 needs to take some notes!

So let me ask you this: who's the best of the best? I mean, the few times I do watch local news, I saw good things and bad about 19 and 29. But if you were to create, say, and independent news station (whatever happened to those plans in Cville, by the way?) and could cherry-pick from what's here, what would you choose? For me, I'd start with 19's studio at the Ix building. I'd try a 3 anchor newscast with Stephanie Hockridge, Laura French, and Mark Obrien. Weather with Norm Sprouse and Sports with Dave Strumpf. Reporters would be Lisa Ferrari, Dana Hackett, Phillip Stewart, and Matt Talhelm. And like many of you say, let's stick with what's happening in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and Fluvanna. Maybe Greene.

I guess looks are somewhat important but what I want is news that pertains to my comminuty - Charlottesville.
Thanks God we now have that choice!

My Dish TV rarely leaves 16 or 19. Good news, good programs.

I agree, townie. You have to remember, though, that good journalists will find the community stories. I suppose that's what I was suggesting by developing an "all-star" team. Who are the people (here now) that will find the news that matters to us. I mean, if all news was fed to the TV stations, there's no reason why any of them would be different in content.