Ah, good morning, CBS. I see you've found your way to this blog which will now tell you how to fix the new prize that you purchased yesterday: WLNY, or as we have long known it, Channel 55, or Ch. 10, or whatever. Follow these simple rules -- all offered with sincerity and hope and a certain sense of longing....
1.) Find your way to the studios. Yes, you big shots from NYC wouldn't know Melville from Mudville, but get on the LIE and head east. Drive slowly, if possible. Look around. That is your viewing area. Get to know it. Well.
2.) Change the call letters. WLNY stands for "We Love New York." Groovy. Cute. Change it -- to WLLI. "We Love Long Island."
3.) This leads to point number three -- focus on Long Island. I do mean focus on Long Island - it's the place that pretty much begins at the Nassau County line, if you don't already know and I'm guessing you don't. I know the license calls for serving the tri-state area. Ignore it. Connecticut is not waiting for expanded service from Ch. 55, nor is NYC, Westchester or Hudson county. This, CBS, represents your single greatest opportunity. There is certainly entrenched competition - News 12 Long Island (I might add, Newsday's corporate companion) does an excellent job, but the more the merrier.
4.) Ch. 55 desperately needs to build its link to the Island. This is a subset of points one through three, but it can't be stated and restated often enough. Other than brief, late, local news, or maybe the morning Mass, which I'm not even sure originates from LI, this station's transmitters may as well be in Bridgeport. (That's in Connecticut, CBS, but I'm sure you already knew that.) It needs a clear and present identification with the place where it is based, and the viewers that it is supposed to serve.
5.) Get rid of those awful paid commercials in the morning; run - instead - traffic reports on the quarter hour; weather reports on the half; news breaks on the half-hour. All of them focused ONLY on LI.
6.) Get rid of all those dusty, dusty repeats -- too many to name. Spend a little money on LOCAL programs that are of interest to LONG ISLANDERS -- programs on education, and taxes, and the local economy, and the fact that it's so tough out there kids have to live with their parents until they're 50....
7.) Don't do what Fox did with its Ch. 9 duopoly -- which is to say, pretty much nothing. All repeats all the time. Life's too short! Do something worthwhile for viewers.
9.) Hire people. Really, give a boost to the local economy. Don't just make money, spend money.
10.) Expand your facilities. Again, ignore Connecticut and points west. Put some people in places like Coram and Wading River and Miller Place and Baldwin and Freeport and on and on. Don't know where they are? Google 'em. Long Islanders are waiting...do a good job and they'll appreciate this station, for once.