Future of Phoenix Station is Uncertain

Another station with a murky future is KTVK in Phoenix.

The stations sale to Meredith should be closed by week's end and many are wondering what will happen to the station's news department?

Staffers and viewers wonder if KTVK, which markets itself as “Arizona’s Family” will maintain a separate news presence or merge with KPHO’s newscasts into one news entity.

Phoenix investor Bill Lewis may be more qualified than most to add a behind-the-scenes perspective. Lewis was a longtime former vice president of KTVK.

“There’s no telling what a big corporation like Meredith is going to do because the reality driving public corporations is shareholder value and cutting costs,” said Lewis to the Phoenix Business Journal.

“In 1999, even though the Tribune Co. was offering a much fatter offer to buy KTVK and KASW, than Belo, it was apparent the Tribune Co. would slim down the newsroom to almost nothing, and run Andy Griffith-type shows,” Lewis said.

Belo, which also was family founded, had promised the Lewis family that it would not terminate any employees for a year,” he said.

“As far as my family knows, they kept their promise,” Lewis said.

As for what happens when Meredith steps in?

Time will tell, but it is almost certain that there will be cuts as they merge operations with KPHO. 

Stay tuned....