Local advertisers now can buy airtime on Juneau's WB affiliate thanks to a partnership between Smith Television Group in Anchorage and the WB Television Network in California, corporate officials said.
Smith Television Group owns KJUD and two other TV stations that make up the Alaska Superstation. Smith acquired Juneau's WB affiliate, KWJA, a couple of years ago, but on July 1 it finally got the server equipment to air local commercials in the Juneau market, Alaska Superstation Program Director Terri Bradley said.
The WB airs on GCI Cable channel 16.
"At the end of the day, this should look and feel and taste like Southeast," said Russell Myerson, executive vice president and general manager of the WB 100+ Station Group in Burbank, Calif.
Also on July 1, the companies launched WB affiliate KWBX in Anchorage. That partnership also will allow advertisers to buy airtime in the local market.
Previously, local advertisers could buy airtime only nationally and it was about 100 times more expensive, Bradley said.
The partnership provides Smith an affiliate for which to generate local ads. The WB network gets distribution, meaning national ads and programs will be seen by Alaska viewers, said Sean Bradley, vice president and general manager at Alaska Superstation.
If local airtime demand dictates, KJUD will produce commercials at its location in the Senate Building downtown, he said. It will need to acquire editing equipment.
KJUD also plans to add staff because of the partnership, he said. KJUD has five employees and plans to add another two sales positions in Juneau within the next 60 days, Sean Bradley said. It also may add two more positions for Southeast that combine sales and photojournalism skills, he said.
The WB has seen high viewership in Juneau because many residents have cable TV, he said. Programs such as "Smallville," "Everwood," "Gilmore Girls" and "Reba" are popular among Juneau viewers, Myerson said.
Tara Sidor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.