Roanoke Station Looks to Move, Start up Own Newscasts

Roanoke Fox station WWCW/WFXR currently has their newscast produced and done by WSLS, but the station wants to change that.

The Fox affiliate is looking to move into a new building and start producing and airing their own newscasts.

Joseph McNamara, who has been the station’s vice president and general manager since December, confirmed the station’s plans to move.

“Everyone here at WFXR and WWCW is extremely excited to be part of the planned relocation of the station to a new state-of-the-art broadcast facility that will allow us to better serve the entire Southwest and Central Virginia region with stellar news and entertainment,” he said.

Station management at Fox 21/27 has told WSLS that it will be ending its news relationship with WSLS in the near future, according to Garry Kelly, general manager at Channel 10. He said no timetable for the change has been set.

“That’s the plan,” Kelly said of the changes. “They’ll give us some kind of notice.”

Fox 21/27 and WSLS have worked in conjunction on the 10 p.m. news since 1996. The morning newscast began in 2012. The Fox station pays WSLS for use of its facility and some of its staff. Kelly would not reveal how much the station receives from Fox 21/27, but he said that WSLS has already planned for the loss of that revenue in its budget.

“We factored that into our plans, so we’re good,” he said.

Some of the newscasts’ on-air staffers — which include 10 p.m. anchorwoman Becky Freemal and morning co-hosts Bob Grebe and Tara Wheeler — are employees of Fox 21/27. However, the newscasts also feature Channel 10’s meteorologists, reporters and some news producers. Fox 21/27 will have to add those positions to its news team when it takes over its own newscasts.

The station expects to add about 25 new jobs when they move. 

H/T Roanoke Times