Is WBAY getting backlash for dumping RTV?

FoxCitiesTV's picture
Green Bay
WBAY posted this message today on their Facebook page:
We have heard from many of you, regarding the switch of channel 2.3 from the RTV network. We appreciate your feedback, and understand not everyone is happy with the decision.  We are switching to the Live Well network because we believe it will prove to be more attractive to viewers and advertisers. It offers fresh original programming that inspires and entertains about subjects that matter; lifestyle, health, nutrition, cooking, travel, and more. It has the commitment and resources of the ABC owned television group.
I wonder how much actual ire there is from viewers over the switch.  I guess enough to prompt outreach like this.  Sounds like they're standing firm on the switch.

Personally, if I were running WBAY, I'd have done the same thing sooner if I could.  RTV has been up and down in recent years with ownership issues and the lineup just wasn't what it used to be.  Had Journal not put MeTV into the market on 26.2, it might have been a different story.  Compare the two and it was pretty hard to not see MeTV eating RTV's lunch and advertisers clearly had something to do with it too, judging by the message.  I bet the local programming pre-emption Living Well allows its affiliates was a huge factor.  Could really see WBAY doing a lot of that, which is a boon to advertising as well.  RTV was on borrowed time, clearly.  And hey, if it really has a following, there's nothing preventing another area station from picking it up -- but I severely doubt that.

That said, Living Well doesn't appeal to me that much.  I think the only show I've seen in their lineup I like is Mexico: One Plate At A Time, and that's offered on WPT's Create channel (which I watch a TON of since dumping cable).  I'd have rather seen something else enter the market like Ion or that MGM movie channel.
Posted February 1, 2012 1:18pm in
Krause's picture

Considering there are now 94

Considering there are now 94 comments (and counting) on their Facebook post, I'd assume that there is a huge backlash. I, myself, think that RTV is a sub-par network, but WBAY viewers seem to like the idea of a network with old TV shows (as do I). But, I feel that they could've found a better replacement for RTV, with something more similar to it (such as Antenna TV or ThisTV).

My opinion of a good channel lineup for WBAY is:
2.1 ABC
2.2 Weather
2.3 Antenna TV
2.4 Live Well Network

This would give WBAY a whole lot of variety without much of the backlash they are receiving...and they could still launch their Live Well Network.

By the way, someone asked on WLUK's page if they'd consider picking up RTV, and their response was, "We will share your comment with the general manager." So, there could be hope for those RTV purists.

FoxCitiesTV's picture

Any broadcaster around here

Any broadcaster around here doing more than three channels full time is a pipe dream. WPNE had 5 but only three ran programming at any one time while the others were dark.

When a change is made in media, you'll get a concentrated subset of those who hate it. They're the most likely to want to express what they think of the change, and they do so very forcefully. You rarely get people who like the change taking the time to express that. Even with 100 or so negative comments, compared to overall viewership it's a relatively tiny sliver of people you may lose. If RTV was doing amazing numbers, you'd still have it on the air today and you'd have more/better advertisers on it. I think most media outlets expect some negative feedback with something like this. Feel sorry for the receptionist at WBAY having to absorb all the negativity.

The chances of WLUK picking it up, to me, are slim to none. Best case scenario would be for them to push it onto WCWF's signal, especially if it's not getting great numbers.

I have to say though that reading the comments to that posting on Facebook are way more entertaining than anything RTV's run on air recently.

FoxCitiesTV's picture

If you look at the Wikipedia

If you look at the Wikipedia pages for RTV and MeTV, RTV has been losing affiliates lately while MeTV has been expanding nationally to 120 affiliates. RTV's programming comes mainly from Sony TV and a lot of smaller, lesser-tier programmers, while MeTV has deals with Viacom and 20th Century Fox, giving them a wealth of more popular shows. That's gotta matter to advertisers because you're programming with stuff more people are familiar with. Compare the primetime lineups... you've got Starsky and Hutch and Police Story going up against Bob Newhart and Cheers.

Willscary's picture

I would be happy with the

I would be happy with the main HD channel and a single EDTV (DVD quality) widescreen sub-channel. The bandwidth needed for widescreen EDTV would not be enough to seriously affect the quality of the main channel and we would have another channel that is of higher quality than SDTV. PBS can stay the way they are with the 3 channel lineup, but I would love to see WBAY lose the weather feed that takes up bandwidth. I would also love to see WFRV pick up a CBS related sub-channel and WLUK pick up some sort of FOX sub-channel. WACY and WCWF could each pick up Antenna TV or THIS TV (in 4/3 since the original programs were in that format).

Some of this may be a pipe dream, but it's MY pipe dream!

mrschimpf's picture

According to Northpine, the

According to Northpine, the last affiliates of the network in the Midwest are in Wausau (on the Fox affiliate, and in a market where Me and Antenna are already on other stations in the market) Sioux Falls (on a low-power station few watch), and Chicago (again, low-power, no cable deals whatsoever, Antenna and Me pushed on the flagship stations of their broadcast groups).

They could easily take Antenna TV, but the problem with this is that the deal for Live Well was across most of Young's stations nationwide. This means that basically, WBAY has to put on what corporate forces them to put on their subchannels, and the writing was on the wall for RTV that it was doomed. Beyond ads and local programming, WBAY has no input whatsoever about what goes on the channel and will be unable to change anyone's minds in the corporate offices.

The station barely promoted it in the last few months, and with programming such as cheap Canadian dramas and "Crook and Chase" repeats from years ago (with misleading summaries, I might add; they claimed Lady Antebellum and 2012 Grammy coverage would be on last night's show, but it was Tricia Yearwood from 1996; that is sleazy on RTV's part to misrepresent the show's content), along with shows barely remembered at all as 'retro' and more as 'unmemorable in the long run'. Live Well isn't going to appeal to alot of people, but at least WBAY will now have a channel from ABC itself which has a dependable structure; RTV was so full of malfunctions and satellite outages (not to mention the limited episode pool they used on their shows) that the station had to put the permanent station ID so that the FCC doesn't dock them for not doing it (and they need it anyway, as RTV has never corrected that they aren't on DT2 in their top of the hour ID).

Also, I will not be happy if they dump Stormcenter 2. Too many stations have been dumping weather channels lately and WBAY's is among the best automated weather channels in the nation from what I've seen.

As for WFRV and WLUK; Nexstar doesn't do subchannels unless the market a station is in needs a MyNetworkTV, CW or Fox affiliate. None of those needs in GB, so WFRV will remain subchannel free. LIN TV only has a subchannel deal with TheCoolTV and Bounce TV at this point (and one station with Antenna TV). Bounce TV will not come to the area due to the lack of any numerous African-American population at this point.

Quincyisneededtoday's picture

We are very disappointed RTV

We are very disappointed RTV has been dumped! We loved it and looked forward to watching several of your programs! We had watched Quincy, as that was truly our favorite! Quincy was difficult to stay up for, as it came on at 10 PM. However, our kids aged 14 and 18 both loved to watch it along with us/their parents! Great program!

We also took in leave it to Beaver, and many of the other programs from time to time.

We also picked up on Davinci, and enjoyed that as of late. Though, still preferred Quincy.

We are hoping that RTV or a station that shows some of these old classic television programs/series and such can be an option yet for the future.

The replacement seems nothing like the retro version previously shown, so it is hard to see this as a replacement of value.


To comment on this story, please log in.  If you don't have an account, sign up for one.  It's free!

Recent Comments

TVfan1987: Time Warner Cable changed it's name to Spectrum Cable following the Charter merger.
on Time Warner subscribers to go to Charter, not...
Sunday, September 3 @ 6:07 pm
TVfan1987: WBAY is now owned by Gray Television.
on WBAY parent Young Broadcasting to merge with...
Sunday, September 3 @ 5:31 pm


In light of Time Warner's new "modem lease fee" for Road Runner, will you buy your own modem?:

New Members

kelcal2k1's picture
GEOPTION57's picture
chipdalemc's picture
Wittenberg, WI
unreal2k5's picture
UWFox Theatre's picture
UWFox Theatre
rando77's picture
Fond du Lac
rebel241973's picture
Meno's picture
Menominee, MI
TVfan1987's picture
Green Bay, Wisconsin
rdhjr98's picture