Scott Kaplan, Amber Mesker and Bill Ray Smith interview mayoral candidate Bonnie Dumanis on U-T TV’s morning show “Scott, B.R. + Amber.” The arm in the foreground belongs to U-T TV floor director Louie Juarez.
— John R. McCutchen
On the air
U-T TV will offer a mix of news, entertainment and lifestyle programming, and its lineup includes:
•“Scott, B.R.+ Amber”
Airs on utsandiego.com this week from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. In two weeks the show moves to the 6 a.m.-11 a.m. slot Monday through Friday.
•“San Diego Centric”
The entertainment/lifestyle show hosted by Chris Cantore and Michelle Guerin will run from 11 a.m. to noon and 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday (Coming by end of the month)
U-T San Diego is launching an in-house television station that will extend the company’s reach well beyond the newspaper with original local news, talk and lifestyle programming on cable and the Web.
The move is a new strategy in an industry that traditionally separated print and broadcast tracks. That line has already been blurred with the newspaper offering breaking news coverage, video and audio through its website. The creation of U-T TV marks the most dramatic step so far in the company’s evolution, said John Lynch, U-T San Diego’s chief executive officer.
“We’re going to be, every moment of the day, talking about San Diego,” Lynch said. “We realize that we have a very valuable asset and that is unique, exclusive content that is hyperlocal and all about San Diego — from sports to business to the news.”
Hotel entrepreneur Doug Manchester bought the newspaper in November, returning it to local hands after more than two years of ownership by a private equity firm. Manchester was joined in the venture by Lynch, who co-founded Noble Broadcast Group and has a long history of owning radio stations.
Since then, the company has invested more than $3 million to construct a state-of-the-art studio with a control room and professional lighting. It has hired about a dozen of the roughly 50 people who will run the station.
Built in just three months, the studio occupies a large section of the newsroom on the third floor of U-T San Diego’s Mission Valley headquarters. The studio’s backdrop includes images of Balboa Park, the Del Mar races, downtown and the beach.
U-T TV kicked off its morning show last week, and its goal is to develop round-the-clock programming within a year. Currently, “Scott, B.R. + Amber” can be viewed on utsandiego.com each weekday morning. Other planned programming: “San Diego Centric,” with U-T entertainment/lifestyle personalities Chris Cantore and Michelle Guerin, and “Top Stories” with U-T editorial writer Chris Reed, a news/talk show.
The programming soon will be available on dedicated cable channels. U-T San Diego is in talks with Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and ATT, Lynch said.
The new TV station will compete for audience not only with local television news operations — KUSI, San Diego 6 and KPBS, and affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX — but also with 24-hour news channels such as CNN, analysts said.
Tim Wulfemeyer, a professor in the School of Journalism Media Studies at San Diego State University, said San Diego is a “relatively crowded market” competing for ad revenue in broadcast news. But Wulfemeyer believes there’s room for a quality news operation. Local TV stations have shrunk their news staffs, in some cases from as many as 100 to 30 people, he said.
Article source: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jan/06/new-storm-drain-headed-for-santees-pebble-beach/