Local station blackouts continue on AT&T/DirecTV, leaving many viewers unable to watch their preferred stations during Hurricane Barry coverage this past weekend.
Currently, four stations remain blacked out on AT&T-owned providers while the carrier negotiates new contracts with the stations’ parent companies. These prolonged negotiations have stretched nearly two months for Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned stations like WPMI-TV and WJTC-TV, while WKRG-TV and its sister station, WFNA-TV, have now been blacked out roughly two weeks. Insiders say viewership numbers have been down severely as a result of the blackouts.
Blackout issues also affected WALA-TV at the beginning of this week, as DISH-TV dropped the FOX affiliate during negotiations. However, as of press time, station General Manager Gary Yoder expected those negotiations to be completed within a day or two.
The negotiations between AT&T, Sinclair and Nexstar Media Group have led to stations across the country being blacked out by one of the nation’s largest carriers. Local stations have encouraged viewers to use antenna to receive their broadcasts directly, circumventing the blackouts.
Sato to Tokyo AP
Former Press-Register director of photography Kiichiro Sato has continued to climb the ranks at the Associated Press and was recently named deputy news director for storytelling and photography for the Asia-Pacific region.
Sato joined the AP in 2005 after 14 years at the Press-Register, where he started as a staff photographer and was named director of photography just four years later. He joined AP as administrative photo editor for Ohio and moved to the agency’s Chicago office in 2009 to oversee photo operations in 14 states.
Even as an administrator, Sato has continued shooting pictures and his photos have graced publications across the globe. He led coverage of President George H.W. Bush’s funeral, Hurricane Harvey in Houston and the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting protests. Sato has also been part of the AP’s photo team for events including the Super Bowl, World Series, Kentucky Derby, Final Four, the Summer Olympics in Brazil and Winter Olympics in South Korea.
As a native of Yokohama, Japan, this new assignment will take Sato close to where he grew up and where he still has family. He came to Mobile in 1985 to attend Spring Hill College, earning both bachelor of liberal arts and master of liberal arts degrees.
“I’m very excited for this new opportunity. I was born and grew up in Japan and have lived in the U.S. for 34 years (nearly 20 in Mobile!),” Sato wrote in a text. “I feel I understand both cultures well and have always wanted to help bridge the cultural gap between the two regions. I’m looking forward to working with the best journalists in Asia to tell the stories about that culture.”
Meteorologist Jake Dunne has departed WPMI-TV to head back to his home state of Kansas for a job at the station where he started his career.
Dunne ended his four-year stint at WPMI last week to accept a morning meteorologist position at KWCH-TV in Wichita. Dunne grew up in that community and said the opportunity to go back home and work at the station where he interned was too good to pass up.
He has been part of WPMI’s morning team.
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