NORTH BAY VILLAGE, FLA. — On New Year’s Eve 1988, Cox published its final edition of the afternoon-distributed daily The Miami News. The next day, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market’s TV stations engaged in what has become “the great affiliation swap” in local media folklore.
CBS purchased what was WCIX-6, an independent station that had an extremely loose affiliation with the fledgling Fox Broadcasting Network, largely known for shows such as 21 Jump Street, The Tracey Ullman Show, Married … with Children, and Family Double Dare — shown on Sunday and Saturday evenings, respectively.
The acquisition of WCIX by CBS shifted NBC affiliation to WTVJ, then at Channel 4. That’s thanks to General Electric’s 1987 acquisition of the station.
The “odd man out,” as local pundits posited at the time: Ed Ansin, the owner of WSVN-7. With NBC affiliation disappearing, what would become of his Miami station? It would become a legendary, revolutionary news-driven station that today still eschews any branding with its 32-year FOX affiliation. And, it would serve as a model for not only FOX News Channel, but scores of syndicated early-prime news magazines seen across North America.
Now, the TV industry is pausing to remember Ansin, who has died at the age of 84.