KRON General Manager Mark Antonitis tells the Contra Costa Times’ Chuck Barney that the station will be prepared to answer a lot of phone calls on Tuesday when a prime-time soap opera replaces the “Nine O’Clock News.” Channel 4, which has struggled since 2000 as an independent, is hoping the soaps produced by the new MyNetworkTV, a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., will bring in younger viewers than the news. It’s quite a gamble since the “Nine O’Clock News” was the station’s highest rated newscast. Barney writes: “KRON risks alienating many Bay Area viewers, who already have watched in utter dismay as the station’s news operation lost much of its luster in recent years through a series of high-profile defections and shrank in scope due to belt-tightening. Now the station essentially is giving the cold shoulder to an audience that prefers not to wait until 10 or 11 p.m. for its local news.” [PPC, July 22: KRON cancels the ‘Nine O’Clock News’]

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