(SEE UPDATE AT END)
Tonight's 10pm newscast of Cable 8 News on Time Warner Channel 8 in Chautauqua County and Warren, Pennsylvania will be the last for that news show. After today, Cable 8 News is being absorbed into YNN Buffalo as part of the Time Warner Cable YNN (Your News Now) network.
The Cable 8 news program will be greatly missed in this area. It was the only television news program dedicated to covering Chautauqua County news and sports. While the Buffalo TV stations do cover the big stories, they generally don't come down here to report on stories like the various city, town, and village board meetings; school board meetings, county legislature meetings, and other more "mundane" items that aren't sexy and splashy, but have a great affect on area residents. They also don't give top billing to our athletic sports at area schools and colleges like Cable 8 has done for over a decade.
Fortunately, while the news show will be no more, there will still be 2 news reporters and a sports reporter dedicated to Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties to provide stories to YNN Buffalo. While I don't completely understand how it will work, our local stories will air sometime in the "wheel" of YNN Buffalo's 24 hour news programming. There is a chance now that stories that come out of this area, if interesting or big enough, can be more easily distributed to other YNN stations around New York State
There have been some hints of these changes over the past year. A glossy, happy story titled, Covering the Community, appeared in the Buffalo News on June 11, 2011. Another story, Staff changes expected at YNN, appeared as part of a business section article in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle on March 22, 2011. Even with my inside contacts and friends who work for Time Warner/YNN, I don't feel comfortable giving an explanation of why this has all come about and what it means going forward.
I am grateful for the 10 plus years of Cable 8 News. Sure, they weren't as slick as some of the larger TV markets, but when you consider this was the first full-time TV job for many of the people who came across our airwaves, then it brings some perspective. Cable 8 News was a springboard for many to go onto bigger markets:
- Former Sports Director Kevin Carroll anchors the YNN Buffalo sports desk.
- Former News Reporter Dayna Roselli is the Morning News Co-Anchor at KLAS-TV (CBS) in Las Vegas.
- Former News Reporter Casey Bortnick reports for YNN Rochester.
- Former Sports Reporter Jay Harris is a sports producer for WIVB.
- Former Sports Director Jeff Russo anchors the sports desk at WKBW.
- Former News Reporter Sawyer Van Horn works for NECN (New England Cable News)
- Former Sports Director Don Heins is the weekend sports anchor for YNN Buffalo.
- Former News Director Elizabeth Carey reports for Business First & WKBW.
- Former Sports Director Ron Vitrano is the Sports Director for ESPN Radio in Tallahassee, FL.
- Former News Director Stephanie Hoey is the Account Manager at NBC CT, formerly a WKBW reporter and Executive Producer of Special Projects for NBC.
On a personal note, the 6 years I anchored a newscast for WKZA and then WRFA-LP would not have been possible if not for Cable 8 News. They provided me their nightly news script that I re-worked into a radio-friendly script to read for the 2 minutes of airtime I was given each week day. Without them, I would not have had the material to create a newscast. I'm indebted to Mark Goshgarian and the other reporters for providing me that information for all those years. It's been a fun ride with all of the Cable 8 staff. Here's to seeing you somewhere in the "wheel"!
UPDATE: I'm still working on confirming these details, but apparently how the "wheel" will work is that YNN Buffalo will carve a 10 minute block in the 7 and 10 o'clock newscasts following the "Weather On the 9's" after the top of the hour for news stories from this area. Whether that includes local sports, I do not know yet. While 10 minutes is nowhere near the same as having 20 minutes of local news, at least Time Warner subscribers can still tune in about the same time as they used to with Cable 8 to see the news for the day for this area. I will update as I learn more.