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‘TV Diner’ to go off the air at NECN

Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson at the annual “TV Diner” Platinum Plate Gala last February.

Bill Brett/Globe photo/File

Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson at the annual “TV Diner” Platinum Plate Gala last February.

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TV Diner,” the NECN food show cohosted by Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson, is going off the air. The weekly restaurant review show is being pulled amid a shakeup at the station that has seen more than a half-dozen employees lose their jobs in recent weeks. We’re told the network wants to move NECN in the direction of news and weather, with less lifestyle programming. A spokesperson for NBC Owned Television Stations, of which NECN is one, declined to talk to us Thursday afternoon. But later, the network issued a statement: “NECN is refocusing its mission on being the leading provider of breaking news, information, weather, and sports. At its core, NECN is a news station and has the ability to deliver more live news Monday through Sunday than any station in the New England market. With this renewed focus, ‘TV Diner’ will be discontinued. We are working with the staff and the hosts to determine their future with NECN.” Neither Costa nor Johnson wanted to comment. “TV Diner,” featuring reviews, cooking demonstrations, and chef interviews, is in its 11th year. Costa has been on the show since the beginning, and Johnson joined eight years ago. (Costa is also a regular on KISS 108’s “Matty in the Morning” show.) Is there a chance “TV Diner” will be picked up by another station? Given the high profile of its hosts, we’re sure to be seeing them soon.

Mark Shanahan can be reached at shanahan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarkAShanahan. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MeredithGoldste.
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