The noose is tightening for management at WPIX. It’s only three months since the Tribune flagship added a 6:30 evening newscast. But it’s not too soon to realize it’s a disaster. The ratings for the Kaity Tong/Brenda Blackmon 30-minute broadcast, aside from the first week curiosity, are in the tank. Channel 11 performed better with Craig Ferguson‘s poorly received Celebrity Name Game in syndication, previously holding down the slot.
Multiple sources confirm to Tuned In that executives are upset with the PIX direction led by news director Amy Waldman (above) and GM Rich Graziano, who promoted her once Mark Effron was shown the door.
“Graziano was honest about why he greenlighted Waldman- her market knowledge” an insider admits. “But knowing how many live trucks your competition has does not make a news director. Now Graziano is tied to dismal ratings, low morale, and an unimpressive news director.”
Insiders say that Waldman, who took on the high profile positiion last April, will not survive beyond the May sweeps. But Graziano’s days could be numbered as well for orchestrating the creation of the 6:30 p.m. newscast.
Another indication that he may be on the hot seat, Tuned In has learned that Bart Feder, Tribune’s SVP of News will lead the search for Waldman’s replacement–not Graziano.
All of the backdoor maneuvering comes as Tribune is reportedly up for sale. What that could mean for WPIX remains a mystery.
Update from Feder:
“I am absolutely not engaged in a search for a new news director at WPIX, nor is anyone else. Amy Waldman is our news director. Period.”