Closer and closer

KNVN and KHSL sure know how to share. The Chico-based NBC and CBS affiliates, which raised eyebrows last year when they entered into a shared-services agreement, has now expanded the sharing to advertising sales.

Bob Eger, the KHSL’s general sales manager, will be in charge of the operation, and account executive Peggy Mead has been promoted to local sales manager.

Eger is excited about the deal. “We are the first CBS-NBC affiliates in the country that are doing this,” he said. Most stations with joint sales agreements have one of the big three networks and a little one, like PAX or the WB, Eger explained, adding that KNVN (Channel 24) and KHSL (Channel 12) had to get a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission before they could sell time on the two stations together.

Eger said there would not be layoffs attached to the change. “If anything, we would like to increase” sales staff, he said. And advertisers may appreciate the opportunity to reach both Channel 24’s younger demographic and the 35-and-older set that prefers KHSL’s approach to the news. “We’ll have both things covered,” Eger said. “We’re still hoping to keep it friendly-competitive. … Different people watch each station, so we want to keep them separate.”

Erik Mathisen, who founded the community radio station KZFR and follows Northstate media trends, said the sales arrangement should be OK, as long as the stations don’t do something like limit advertisers’ options. “It’s just one more area in which the two are tied together in a single operation,” he observed. (Recently, the news staffs moved into the same room.)

“What’s troublesome to me, especially in a relatively small market like Chico, is when you consolidate operations to save money,” Mathisen said. “I think that it’s going to have an effect on the quality of the workforce. I just can’t believe that they’re not going to pour more work on fewer people.”

Face it

Pizza Face is no more.

The News & Review last month ran a story (by me) about the uncertain future of the longtime downtown favorite after it faced code violations, unpaid bills and civil suits by patrons who claimed they were injured when they fell into the basement through an open door in the floor.

On July 25, owner Peter Scalise voluntarily filed for Chapter 7 “consumer” (as opposed to business-related) bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern Division of California, reporting that he has no assets. When I tried to reach him to comment on the case, Scalise’s cell phone gave a perpetual busy signal. His attorney, Michael O. Hays of Chico, did not return a call for comment by press time. A meeting of the creditors was set for Aug. 28.

At the West Second Street pizza parlor, the “Face” has been taken off the windows signs so only “Pizza” remains, although the number is still 345-FACE.

Dan Nyhof, who in recent weeks filed to possess the business names Pizza Face and Firestorm Pizza, said his is a totally new business and not associated with Scalise in any way. He’d prefer not to be thought of in the same breath as the "dead" Pizza Face and will reveal more about his plans later.