Marie McGlynn-Peach watches a lot of television. It's her job. As vice president and general manager of Journal Broadcast Group's Boise and Twin Falls operations, she is responsible for KIVI Channel 6, KNIN Channel 9, KSAW Channel 51 in Twin Falls and three digital television stations. She also needs to listen to Journal's four FM radio stations--K-HITS 107.1, The River 94.9, Variety Rock 105.1 and The X 100.3. But most of her affiliates will probably understand why she's paying a bit more attention to KNIN lately--the station transitioned on Sept. 1 from the CW Network to Fox. McGlynn-Peach knows a thing or two about Fox. Before coming to Boise in January, she was vice president and director of sales for a trio of Fox stations in Florida, preceded by a career that included stops in Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and St. Louis.
Is local news as important as it's ever been to identify or brand a television station?
Absolutely. And revenue. You own every spot inside that news program.
Assuming you have the anchor team that you want, where do you begin to tweak your product?
When I first got here, we were a little lean on marketing. You have to constantly tell people what's coming up. You want to keep your viewers from one program to the next to the next.
I noticed that you have three large televisions in your office. One, of course, is set to channel 6. I'm assuming that the others are tuned to channels 2 and 7.
They're our major competitors.
But what are you looking for?
I was watching last Thursday night at 6. We had seven news stories in our first 10 minutes compared to KTVB, which had two. We're doing a very good job with our brand of "10 minutes of non-stop news."
When you began talking to the folks at Journal about taking this job was a deal to change KNIN from CW to Fox already in the works?
I didn't know about the deal when they interviewed me. But they clearly knew that I was coming from a Fox affiliate.
So when you finally took the job, did they tell you then?
No. About two months into the job, they said, "Oh, by the way, there is a possibility of a change." And I thought, "Oh my God," because I know what being a Fox affiliate can bring.
What did you have to do technically to change networks?
We purchased a couple of Fox satellites and some more technical equipment. We decided to take it a step further. Our company made a substantial investment in tearing out our old news set and putting in a brand new studio, which is gorgeous.
Can I ask how much of an investment that was?
You can ask, but I can't tell you.
With due respect to the CW, getting Fox was a bit of a coup. If you look at a list of Top 10 programs in a calendar year, half of them are Fox.
NFL football, American Idol, Glee, House, The Simpsons, and the X Factor, the new Simon Cowell show this fall.
You launched a new local 9 p.m. news program on KNIN.
We hired 13 new people.
But you're sharing resources with KIVI.
Everything except for the anchors. We're not sending two reporters to the same fire. One reporter will report for both stations.
What's the risk of diluting your 10 p.m. newscast on KIVI by showing much of your reporting at 9 p.m. on KNIN?
Do you think people who watch at 9 would watch at 10? Statistically, they don't. The only time that might happen would be if there was a big breaking news story.
When you launch a new network affiliation, do you think potential viewers will sample you for 30-60 days?
I don't think they'll give us that much time. We have to come out of the chute doing it right. There's a lot laying on the line. We need to give people the stories they want to hear in a way that is true to the Fox brand.
What does that mean?
It's different to everybody. In every market I've been in, I have found that Fox can be polarizing. Either you really love it, or you really hate it. I think here in Idaho people really like it. Fox has that unique edge. So we want to do things a little differently than what we're doing on KIVI.