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WHYY cuts TV news, annoys Gov; 2 stations move East

A Wyoming TV station is moving to Wilmington, as WHYY 12 upsets its host-state governor by axing its news program

That'll be little Delaware's first VHF station (in years. See Comments) Unless you count WHYY Channel 12, which is licensed in Wilmington but run from its Independence Mall offices in Philadelphia.

If it goes thru, the switch may be timely: WHYY is cancelling its 46-year-old "Delaware Tonight" news broadcast because nobody's watching and everything's going online. Can they do that? Warns Delaware Gov. Jack Markell darkly, "WHYY's decision to leave the daily airwaves leaves a critical hole for viewers and raises significant questions about their committment to Delaware, which is where their FCC license is granted."

Eight more WHYY staff will lose their jobs. Inquirer story here. WHYY is selling its Wilmington building and closing its two-year-old Dover bureau, reports the News Journal here.

The Wilmington paper's grouchy columnist, Ron Williams, has been attacking WHYY's state subsidies: "Stop funding the so-called Delaware public television station, WHYY [DE gave $500K last year], unless it changes its reach into Delaware. Pennsylvania contributes another $1.6 million, which as best as I can tell is even more a waste of money for Philadelphia than Delaware when it comes to programming. That amount is surely going to be cut this year by Pennsylvania legislators.

"WHYY has become a joke... I quit contributing when I realized that the station's idea of programming was offering day-old sports scores... That's not a television station. That's called keeping the FCC happy with your federal license requirements so the CEO of WHYY, Bill Marrazzo, can continue to rake in $430,000-plus a year, the highest PBS salary in the country." WHYY's Nancy Karabjanian squawks back here.