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Howell: Fox Will Pick Up All Three WLNE Castoffs

Jay Howell, general manager for local CBS affiliate WPRI and its Fox sister station WNAC, says Fox will pick up all three shows that ABC affiliate WLNE is casting off amid financial difficulty: Dr. Phil, Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition.

Fox will start off running the shows in late night slots next week as management rejiggers the station's evening schedule, Howell said.

"They're terrific programs," said Howell, who is still negotiating long-term deals for the shows, distributed by CBS Distribution.

Steve Doerr, general manager for WLNE, said in an interview with Not for Nothing earlier today that the station could not come to terms with CBS Distribution amid a deteriorating fiscal climate for local television stations.

Advertising revenue for TV stations in the Providence-New Bedford market dropped 11.8 percent last year, nearly double the national average, according to a recent report from BIA Financial Network, Inc., a Virginia-based market research firm. And all of the market's major stations have laid off employees in recent months or are weighing layoffs.

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