Rochester, NY television news will see a large shuffle Jan. 1 as WUHF ends eight years of running newscasts from WROC and starts carrying news from WHAM instead.
That swap, with ABC affiliate WHAM also taking over the sales operations for WUHF, a Fox affiliate, comes as a 2005 joint services agreement between WUHF and WROC expires.
The 10 p.m. news show WHAM currently produces for the local CW station, broadcast on Channel 13.2, WHAM's second digital signal, will move to Fox and be called "13 WHAM News at 10 on Fox Rochester"....which might go down as the longest name for a newscast ever.
"We have the No. 1 news broadcast news brand in the market ... and we're going to continue to do that brand on Fox," said WHAM General Manager Chuck Samuels. "We're not going to pretend we're something else."
With WHAM news personnel doing the Fox newscast, he added, "Everyone's going to know it's 13 WHAM's production."
Similarly, WHAM's 7-9 a.m. newscast, also currently on CW, will likewise move to Fox and be renamed "Good Day Rochester," Samuels said.
The CW morning and evening newscast holes will be filled with syndicated programming, Samuels said.
The news swap was set in motion in December 2012, when Sinclair Broadcast Group, which already owned Fox Rochester, bought the non-license assets — including such physical assets as the studio equipment and building — of the Rochester ABC and CW affiliate from Newport Television LLC, which sold all its stations and dissolved.
WHAM expects to add six people in sales and three in news as a result of the WUHF acquisition, bringing its headcount to more than 100, Samuels said.