One of the issues I blog the most about is the lack of reliable news outlets in El Paso. The El Paso Times, masquerading as a newspaper, has become nothing more than press releases for government officials and for those partaking of the taxpayers’ monies. KVIA is a hit and miss outlet, sometimes it delves into investigative journalism but most of time it follows in the footsteps of the local daily. As many of you know, in 2009 the local CBS affiliate, KDBC 4 entered into a shared agreement with KTSM to broadcast shared news on both channels, in effect ending KDBC as a standalone news source.
Last year, Cunningham Broadcasting filed an application with the FCC to purchase KDBC eventually transferring the ownership over to Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair now owns KFOX-TV and KDBC in the El Paso market. According to FCC filings, KDBC is in fourth place of the English channels in El Paso, while KFOX-TX is in sixth place by viewership. Both stations will be operating out of the Alto Mesa facility that was purchased from Curry Adkins recently.
Yesterday, social media was abuzz with new headshots of on air talent for the new KDBC 4. Although I have not been able to confirm this, from the social media published photo shoots it appears that Lou Romano will be returning. Previously, Romano was at both KDBC and KVIA doing the sports segment of the news. In 2009, he left KDBC.
In the anchor desk, it appears that Shelton Dodson and Patty Maese will be co-anchoring the news. Maese, who was the spokesperson for Canutillo School District in 2009, was previously with KDBC and KFOX-TV.
Although I tried to reach out to individuals with knowledge about an upcoming announcement for the new on air talent, I did not receive a response in time to include it in today’s piece. However, unconfirmed rumors indicate that the new newscast may go live in the next few days, in time for an October 2014 launch.
At this point, I have no idea how much latitude the reporters for KDBC will be given by their corporate ownership and how much they will invest in investigative reporting. However, I know that the television news market is highly competitive with each station trying to attain the first place rating in order to sell advertising.
I am hoping that KDBC, and its sister station KFOX-TV are encouraged to do in depth reporting about local issues in order to attract the viewers’ attention for the coveted first place ratings. I have had the pleasure of knowing Patty Maese from her previous time on the news and I know that if she is given the necessary support she will delve into doing in depth investigative reports.
With all of the political intrigue that has transpired in El Paso the last few years it is important that quality investigative reporting comes back to the city. I am hoping that KDBC is the catalyst that begins to expose the corruption permeating throughout the city.
Regardless, the news industry is in great flux trying to sustain itself with the dwindling advertising revenues left. The added competition of KDBC will, hopefully, lead to exposing more of the political shenanigans going on in the city.