It appears Comcast was doing more than bluffing when it began making noise about pulling the NBC affiliation from Ed Ansin’s WHDH-TV (Channel 7), which has had the Peacock Network since 1995.
At a staff meeting this afternoon at Comcast-owned New England Cable News’ Newton headquarters, Comcast officials unveiled the new “NBC Boston” logo for their new entry, which will make a 2017 debut on what’s now Telemundo outlet WNEU (Channel 60).
(photo: Brian Burnell/NECN via Twitter)
There’s a staff meeting scheduled at WHDH as well this afternoon – and Ansin tells the Herald he’s been meeting with lawmakers and developing a strategy to challenge NBC’s move, in part on the grounds that the New Hampshire-based WNEU signal doesn’t come close to covering the entire Boston TV market. (NBC says it’s looking at ways to enhance the WNEU signal, perhaps by adding a simulcast on a digital subchannel closer to Boston.)
The first staffing announcements for the new “NBC Boston” include former WHDH chief meteorologist Pete Bouchard as well as a pair of new reporters. Will former WFXT star anchor Maria Stephanos be the next personnel shoe to drop?
Is Ansin still angling to get NBC to buy WHDH at his price? Or is this affiliation swap for real, marking the second time in just over two decades that NBC has changed Boston homes?
More as this story develops…
*Meanwhile, Greater Media announced this morning that Ramiro Torres is joining his former WJMN (94.5) morning partner Pebbles on Greater’s WBQT (Hot 96.9). Ramiro left WJMN last July, and it appears he was waiting out his iHeart contract before making the expected move to Hot. More in Monday’s NERW.