Clark Tutt, the owner of Tutt Media Group, has purchased three Eastern North Carolina stations: Channel 21 (W21DW-D), which serves Kinston, New Bern, Greenville, Washington and Goldsboro; Channel 41 (W41DU-D), which serves Jacksonville, Camp Lejeune, Sneads Ferry and Wilmington; and Channel 39 (W39DG-D), which serves Beaufort, Bayboro, Havelock, Morehead City and Atlantic City.
The stations, which reach a potential market of 1.5 million viewers in ENC, will likely receive the call letters of WTMK (Kinston), WTMJ (Jacksonville) and WTMB (Beaufort), Tutt told The Kinston, NC Free Press.
Tutt has hired the Gary Dean to head up the news operation for the stations. Dean, who has served as a lead anchor or news reporter for four NC TV stations: WNCT CBS-9 (from 1977-79), WCTI ABC-12 (1979-86), WITN NBC-7 (1990-2000) and WYDO Fox-8/14 (2004-07). He has already signed a contract to be the news director for Tutt’s network.
All three stations will run the same programming, although each has three multicast channels. One of the channels at each station will have HD capabilities, the story said.
“The primary channel for each station will carry our main programming and our news network,” Tutt told the paper. “The second channel will carry religious programming exclusively. The third channel, down the road, will carry live events such as football or basketball games from different towns.”
All three stations will also be available on each town’s respective cable packages. The network will be up and going strong within the next few months.
“Kinston will be on by Christmas, Jacksonville will be on by January and Beaufort will come on around March,” Tutt said.
Tutt is negotiating with several networks right now for programming, although it won’t be any of the four major networks of ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox: “It’ll be Ion TV, MyTV or the CW, something like that.”