If all goes as planned, WKBW should have a new owner before the next rating book.
The one once powerful highly rated station that had been run into the ground by Granite Broadcasting and longtime General Manager Bill Ransom, is about to be taken over by Scripps.
Current General Manager Mike Nurse said this week that the Federal Communications Commission is expected to rule on the sale of the station any day now.
If the sale of WKBW-TV to Scripps is approved as expected, the Cincinnati-based company is expected to take control by the end of May.
It generally takes three or fourth weeks to close the sale after FCC approval, which would mean Scripps would take over after the end of the May sweeps.
Scripps officials probably would prefer taking over after the May sweeps so the results -- which haven't been favorable to the ABC affiliate for years -- won't fall under the company's watch. Channel 7 is deep in third place in local news ratings. The ratings for ABC's top-rated news programs "Good Morning America" and "World News with Diane Sawyer" are also third in this market.
The first sweeps period of significance for Scripps would be in November, by which time it might implement some of its plans to try and restore the station to its former glory.
Scripps isn't allowed to share its plans yet, but the company is expected to do the typical things new owners do like change the set of the newscast and take a research survey to judge the popularity of the station's on-air staff.
It is believed that Channel 7 hasn't taken such a comprehensive research survey in about 15 years.
H/T Buffalo News