Picks up latenight strip from ABC affil
Barry Diller’s City Vision TV venture in Miami promises to be “Politically Incorrect” in primetime when the station bows its new format this spring.
USA Broadcasting’s WHYS Miami has picked up the ABC latenight strip “Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher” from ABC’s Miami affiliate, WPLG, which currently airs the half-hour show at 4 a.m. rather than in the network’s preferred timeslot following “Nightline.” As a result, ABC had the option of moving the show to a better timeslot on another station in the market.
Diller and his USA Broadcasting team are preparing to transform WHYS over the next few months from its present status as a Home Shopping Network affiliate into an indie outlet with an emphasis on locally oriented programming. In preparation for the relaunch under the “City Vision” banner this spring, USA also confirmed Thursday that WHYS has cleared Twentieth TV’s “The Magic Hour,” the upcoming syndie talk-variety strip fronted by NBA great Earvin (Magic) Johnson.
WHYS’s latest program acquisitions are another sign that USA is serious about trying to make the station a force in the Miami market. Over the past few months, the station has landed the broadcast rights to the city’s NBA franchise, the Miami Heat, and struck a deal to carry the Fox Kids Network weekday/weekend children’s slate.
But in announcing the “Politically Incorrect” and “Magic Hour” deals, WHYS editor in chief Matti Leshem also reiterated the station’s commitment to offering locally oriented fare.
On Thursday, Leshem unveiled two more weekly series in the works for WHYS, both patterned after popular South Florida-area magazines. “Ocean Drive” will revolve around Miami-area nightlife and celebs. “Generation n” will focus on Miami’s fast-growing bilingual youth culture.