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News at 10 gets company from KAYU

May 23, 1999

By Jim Kershner
The Spokesman-Review

A new studio is taking shape at KAYU-28, Spokane’s Fox affiliate.

It’s a newscast studio, representing KAYU’s intention to become Spokane’s fourth and newest TV news operation. KAYU will debut its own local 10 p.m. newscast on Aug. 9.

The station has already hired two reporters (both from outside this market) and is negotiating with anchor talent for news, sports and weather. By the time the show rolls out, the 10 p.m. newscast will have a staff of 22, including anchors, reporters, editors, producers and studio staff.

“This represents a major commitment for this company,” said Rick Andrycha, KAYU’s director of programming and creative services. “Several million dollars worth of commitment.”

They have already hired news director Gary Cooper, presently working at a station in Binghamton, N.Y. He is a former line producer with the “Today” show and “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.”

KAYU has hosted several ill-fated attempts at a 10 p.m. news show, but those newscasts were actually produced by rival stations – KREM-2 at first, and then KHQ-6 – for KAYU. None of them drew any significant ratings, and all died quick deaths. Yet this marks the first time KAYU has actually committed to doing its own show.

Andrycha said he thinks that will make all the difference. He said they plan to focus the show toward Fox’s audience by doing a lot of community appearances, even anchoring the newscasts from different neighborhoods when warranted. “We will not be tied to the set,” said Andrycha.

The only current local 10 p.m. news airs on KSKN-22, produced by the KREM-2 news staff. It, too, is struggling to build an audience. Yet Andrycha said he is convinced that Spokane is an early-to-bed city that would welcome a new local 10 p.m. newscast. With the track record of 10 p.m. newscasts in Spokane, he said he knows it will be a challenge – but a challenge worth the risk.

Sunday, May 23, 1999

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From → KAYU

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