A behind-the scenes consolidation of two Capital Region television stations became apparent to the viewing public this weekend when on-screen reporters from ABC affiiliate WTEN appeared on FOX affiliate WXXA.
The move is part of a shared services plan announced this summer by Shield Media LLC, which bought FOX 23 this summer, and Young Broadcasting, which owns WTEN. One of the first visible signs of this partnership was the coverage of the shooting at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut, with WTEN’s Amy Cutler appearing on FOX 23.
WXXA has let go some of its top leadership, including the general manager and news and sales directors, according to two sources familiar with the move who weren’t able to speak publicly about the changes. These functions will now be performed by WTEN staff.
A receptionist for WXXA said Tuesday that Bill Sally, the former general manager, no longer works there and that Andy Alford, the WTEN general manager, has that job. A call this afternoon to Alford at WTEN was not immediately returned.
Moving forward, reporters from both stations will be appearing on each other’s stations, including at this afternoon’s broadcasts.
Additional operations, like social media, will also be shared between the two stations, according to sources.