WVTV-18, WB (TV Station)

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Fake TV News: A CMD Special Report
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This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's special report, Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed.
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WVTV-18 is is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin television station and an affiliate of the WB television network. As of September 2006, the station became the Milwaukee affiliate of the CW Network and was re-branded as "CW-18 WVTV." [1] [2]

Station Owner

Sinclair Broadcast Group

Use of Video News Releases and/or Satellite Media Tours

In the 9 pm news bulletin on October 28, 2005, the station broadcast an un-edited version of a video news release produced by D S Simon Productions for the companies Masterfoods and 1-800-Flowers, suggesting Halloween gift ideas. [3] The VNR featured Julie Edelman, a self-proclaimed "lifestyle expert" who appeared in other VNRs and satellite media tours. [4] [5]

A Decreasing Commitment To News

In August 2005, WVTV shortened its "News Central" 9 p.m. newscast, from one hour to 30 minutes. The Business Journal of Milwaukee reported that no local news staff would be laid off: [6]

WVTV's parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., Baltimore, announced the change in a Wednesday news release on its second-quarter financial results. Milwaukee is one of seven WB affiliates Sinclair owns that will cut back on the news "in order to improve performance and profitability," the company said. ...
WVTV news director Joe Radske said the program will focus more on local news but continue to carry some national news from Sinclair's news headquarters.

In March 2006, The Business Journal of Milwaukee reported that news would disappear from WVTV completely: [7]

"News Central," a local newscast on Milwaukee WB network station WVTV-TV (Channel 18) will apparently be canceled at the end of this month. Milwaukee is one of several markets where Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. either has ended or plans to end local newscasts.

In Sinclair's 2005 annual report, CEO David D. Smith wrote, "Our decision to enter into more economical news share arrangements and even discontinue the news in some markets where viewership and advertising revenues are not sufficient to support the cost structure necessary to produce a high quality newscast that the market deserves, will also contribute an estimated $5 million of cash flow this year." [8]

The following week, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that "talks are continuing for another local station to provide a newscast for the station, but things are up in the air until a Milwaukee home of the new CW network is announced." [9] Also WVTV was later named the CW Network's Milwaukee affiliate, as of September 5, 2006, the station was not carrying local or national news programming. [10]

Contact Details

4041 North 35th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53216
Phone: (414) 442-7050
Phone (news): (414) 874-1818
Fax: (414) 203-2300
Website: http://www.thattvwebsite.com

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