Channel 51 Owner Files For Bankruptcy Despite Stellar Schedule

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The owner of Channel 51 here in Houston has

filed for bankruptcy


Douglas R. Johnson has filed for personal and business Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He tells the Houston Chronicle it's mostly due to a divorce, and it shouldn't affect station operations.

Which is a real relief, because otherwise we wouldn't know where to get our Cheaters fix, if we had one.

Cheaters is on KNWS seven times a week, right up there with popular shows like Mad About You and The Nanny, which apparently are still on.

KNWS has had quite the career in Houston.

It started out in 1993 as an all-news station. 24/7 local Houston news, with the reporters lugging around their own cameras, with hard-working staffers constantly sabotaged by faulty equipment or the lack of enough people to run a station. Somehow this effort failed, and the all-news idea was dropped.

Even better was the time when -- hard as it may be to believe now -- the station broadcast the Astro and Rocket games. Whatever the opposite of "hi-def" is, that's what KNWS's game broadcasts were like: Craig Biggio would be legging out a hit as ghsotly video from KPRC wafted across the screen.

It was the visual equivalent of listening to an addled Milo Hamilton broadcast a game, which we suppose is appropriate.

We'll say no more, except to post their nightly lineup and wonder how a company like this could ever file for bankruptcy:

Every night, they offer two episodes of Roseanne, two episodes of A Different World, two episodes of Judge Hatchett and two episodes of Judge Karen.

All that plus Cheaters? We can only hope their financial recovery comes quickly.

-- Richard Connelly

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