Having reached an impasse with Nexstar Broadcasting on affiliate renewal, Fox has lined up Koplar Communications’ KRBK to replace Nexstar’s KSFX in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Granite Broadcasting’s WISE to replace Nexstar’s WFFT in Springfield, Mo.
Unable to come to terms with Nexstar Broadcasting on affiliation renewals in Springfield, Mo. (DMA 74), and Fort Wayne, Ind. DMA 107), Fox has found new affiliates in the two markets.
The Fox affiliation losses are the second and third for Nexstar, which has been resisting Fox’s demands for stiff new programming fees. In May, it gave up the affiliation for WTVW Evansville, Ind., rather than pay the fees.
In Springfield, Fox has lined up Koplar Communications’ KRBK to replace Nexstar’s KSFX. KRBK, currently an MNT affiliate, will also broadcast Fox starting Sept. 1 and promote itself as Fox 49. MNT is Fox’s secondary network.
And in Fort Wayne, Fox is going with Granite Broadcasting’s WISE in place of Nexstar’s WFFT starting Aug. 1.
WISE now broadcasts NBC on its main channel and MNT on a subchannel. According to WISE GM Jerry Giesler, the plan is to put Fox on the same subchannel as MNT. Fox will air from 8-10 p.m. MNT’s two-hour block will be moved to 10:30 p.m. following the half-hour news. Granite also operates WPTA in the market under a shared services agreement. WPTA airs ABC is its main channel and CW on a subchannel.
Giesler said the challenge now is to let viewers know that Fox is moving to a new home. Among other things, WISE will air promos and set up a hot line that viewers can call for information, he said. “I’m feeling very good about it.”
Said Ted Koplar, president-CEO of Koplar Communications, in a prepared statement: “We are thrilled that KRBK will be the home of Fox’s incredible lineup of sports and entertainment.”