SYRACUSE -- Citing a "decline in ratings and funding," WCNY-TV has cancelled WCNY Connected, a weekly lifestyle/entertainment show hosted by 93Q (WNTQ) morning co-hosts Ted Long and Amy Robbins. Additionally, the station is pushing its long-running Central Issues back to its original weekly format, after trying out the show as a daily offering for awhile.
All hope is not lost for the popular radio team to return to the small screen: WCNY-TV President and CEO Robert Daino said in a statement, "we value our partnership with Ted and Amy and we will continue to look for opportunities to work with them again in the future." The press release appears in its entirety below.
In a joint statement included in the WCNY release, Long and Robbins said, "We were honored to be able to co-host the show for the last year and very much enjoyed working with the WCNY crew. Public Broadcasting relies so heavily on funding from the public and this proves that local programming should never be taken for granted."
WCNY Connected debuted in December 2009, and aired every Thursday night at 9pm. The show did not air this past Thursday. Central Issues, which was airing weeknights at 6:30, moves to Fridays at 9:30pm, starting this Friday.
Peter Spartano, WCNY VP/Broadcasting said returning Central Issues to a weekly frequency will make it a "stronger show ... because it will give us more time to research and prepare for the kind of in-depth local stories that we want to do."
Here's the full press release from WCNY:
WCNY MAKES CHANGES TO LOCAL PROGRAMMING
SYRACUSE, NY (February 7, 2011) - WCNY has made changes to one local program and cancelled another one as it continues to modify its lineup on channel 24.1, said Robert J. Daino, President and Chief Executive Officer of WCNY-TV/FM.
WCNY has cancelled "WCNY Connected" and will return "Central Issues" to its original once-a-week format. Central Issues, a news and public affairs program that had been aired every weeknight at 6:30 p.m., will now be shown at 9:30 p.m. Friday starting Feb. 11.
"Central Issues will be a stronger show on a weekly basis, because it will give us more time to research and prepare for the kind of in-depth local stories that we want to do," said Peter Spartano, WCNY's Vice President of Broadcasting.
WCNY Connected, which aired at 9 p.m. Thursday, was hosted by popular 93Q radio personalities Amy Robbins and Ted Long and featured cooking, the arts and local events. Daino said WCNY Connected was dropped and Central Issues was reformatted because of a decline in ratings and funding for both shows.
"It's unfortunate that WCNY Connected didn't work out," Daino said. "But we value our partnership with Ted and Amy and we will continue to look for opportunities to work with them again in the future."
Ted and Amy said they are also looking forward to continuing their relationship with WCNY.
"We were honored to be able to co-host the show for the last year and very much enjoyed working with the WCNY crew," Robbins and Long said in a joint statement. "Public Broadcasting relies so heavily on funding from the public and this proves that local programming should never be taken for granted."
Central Issues' weeknight time slot is being filled by the "Nightly Business Report," a long-running business news program. Nightly Business Report is part of a two-hour block of news with "BBC World News" at 6 p.m. and "PBS NewsHour" at 7 p.m.
Daino said WCNY, which services more than 1.8 million households in 19 Central New York counties, will continue to examine its program schedule in the face of expected reductions in state and federal funding.
"Although the cuts in the proposed state budget were not as large as we expected, we're still looking at a 30 percent cut in funding over the last two years and that's significant," Daino said. "So we will continue to look at ways of reducing costs that will help us meet our budget while still providing the type of programming our viewers have come to expect and enjoy."
We know the news isn't always pleasant, but we appreciate and salute WCNY for taking the time to be honest and detailed in explaining these changes. Anytime there's news happening at your station, remember to include firstname.lastname@example.org on your press release distribution list.