Nexstar’s former Fox affil WFXW Terre Haute, Ind., will join ABC and change its calls to WAWV on Sept. 1. In addition, the group owner signs a new agreement extending its affiliations for the nine ABC affiliates it owns or operates.
Nexstar Drops Fox For ABC In Terre Haute
Nexstar Broadcasting Group has turned the table on Fox, dumping the network in Terre Haute, Ind. (DMA 152), and replacing it with ABC. The switch is effective Sept. 1.
With its launch as an ABC affiliate, WFXW will change its call letters to WAWV, which stands for “ABC for the Wabash Valley.” Nexstar also operates the market’s NBC affiliate, WTWO.
WFXW’s Fox affiliation expired in June 2010, but the station has continued operating as a Fox affiliate under the previous contractual terms as the parties negotiated a renewal.
Fox and Nexstar have been at odds over Fox’s aggressive demands for programming fees. Rather than pay the fees, Nexstar has given up the Fox affiliation in three other markets — Evansville, Ind.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Springfield, Mo. Terre Haute is the first where it has been able to jump to another network.
Nexstar owns or operates 12 other Fox affiliates.
The Terre Haute station’s pick up of ABC is part of a larger, long-term agreement in which Nexstar is renewing its ABC affiliation for nine other stations.
Commenting on the agreement, Nexstar Broadcasting Group President and CEO, Perry A. Sook said, “We are delighted to extend, on a long-term basis, our affiliation agreements with ABC.
“WAWV’s ABC affiliation enables Nexstar to continue to serve the Terre Haute community and the Wabash Valley with compelling network programming as well as local news, lifestyle, sports and weather programming.
“Our affiliation with ABC will also dramatically increase the amount of HD programming that our local viewers will have access to on a daily basis.”
John Rouse, senior vice president, Affiliate Relations for the ABC Television Network, said, “We are very pleased to extend our affiliation with Nexstar in nine key markets, and to once again have an ABC affiliated station in Terre Haute.
“Nexstar has a proven track record for providing local viewers with outstanding programming and community service. Their strong local news presence in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley will help strengthen ABC’s footprint in the market.”
The other Nexstar ABC affiliates: KMID Odessa-Midland, Texas; KSVI Billings, Montana; WDHN Dothan, Alabama; WJET Erie, Pa.; and KQTV St. Joseph, Mo.; KAMC Lubbock, Texas; WTVO in Rockford, Ill.; WUTR Utica, New York; and KODE Joplin, Mo.
The previous affiliation agreement for seven of the stations ended in December 2010 and the stations continued operating as ABC affiliates through short-term extensions while two of the stations’ affiliation agreements expire in December 2012.