Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Toledo Blade Reporters: Pro-Trump Owners ‘Manipulate’ Coverage

Reporters at the Toledo Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Friday that the right-wing views of the papers’ owners are hindering their ability to accurately cover President Donald Trump and Wednesday’s Capitol riot.

Dale Woods Named Block VP TV Broadcasting

In his new role, Woods will lead the BCI Television Group which comprises WDRB (Fox); WBKI (CW); WMYO (MNT) and BCI Media Louisville, all Louisville, Ky.; WAND (NBC) Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill.; and WLIO (NBC-Fox) and WOHL (ABC-CBS) Lima, Ohio.

WDRB Shifts Promos To Coronavirus Updates

Block Communications-owned WDRB in Louisville, Ky. is airing and streaming 30-second updates on the coronavirus pandemic. The segments, produced by its marketing department and hosted by its anchors, are revised throughout the day.

Block Stations Add Comscore Measurement

The station group will use Comscore local television ratings and Advanced Automotive data at its television stations in Louisville, Ky.; Decatur, Ill.; and Lima, Ohio.

Nielsen And Block Announce Multi-Year Renewal

The station group reups for Nielsen Local TV measurement services at six stations.

DMAS 21, 77 & 106)

Ion Buys 3 Stations In Mo., S.C. And Idaho

The purchases of WRBU St. Louis; WZRB Columbia, S.C.; and KTRV Boise, Idaho, expand the group’s portfolio to 63 stations in 58 markets, including all of the top 20 and 24 of the top 25. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Block Ownership Of Blade Marks 90th Year

Ninety years ago, businessman and newspaper mogul Paul Block Sr., took control of The Toledo Blade — the city’s oldest newspaper since its founding in 1835. Even though print circulation has fallen over the years as it has at other newspapers, The Blade is now read by more readers than ever because of the many ways to access its content. Today, the Block family still owns The Blade and Block Communications also includes five TV stations and cable and broadband firms in its portfolio.

Block Seeks Limited FCC Retrans Intervention

Block Communications, owner of TV stations, newspapers and cable systems says larger broadcasters and cable operators need to be reined in. It suggests the FCC increase its existing powers to ensure that broadcasters and pay TV operators negotiate retrans deals in good faith. Block also suggests that the FCC limit its intervention to retrans cases in which the pay TV operator serves fewer than 400,000 subs and the TV station group owns or operates at least 25 TV stations — or in which the pay TV operator serves more than 1.5 million subs and the broadcaster owns or operates five or fewer TV stations.

DMA 48

WDRB Louisville In Services Deal For WBKI

The Block Communications station will provide technical, master control sales, promotion, accounting and HR for LM Communications’ newly-purchased CW affiliate in Kentucky.

DMA 48 (LOUISVILLE, KY)

WDRB, Time Warner Cable Set Retrans Deal

Block Communications and Time Warner Cable come to an agreement that returns the Louisville, Ky., Fox affiliate and MNT affil WMYO to TWC’s Insight Cable, after being off the cable system since May 31.

Block Wants To Buy Back Its Bonds

TV station, cable system and newspaper owner Block Communications announced a tender offer for all of its $150 million of 8.25% senior notes due 2015. The bond buyback is part of a $250 million refinancing effort by the company.

DMA 112

KTRV Boise Shuts Down News Operations

Block Communications’ former Fox affiliate is cutting staff this week. “A network affiliate requires a different business model than does an independent station,” said Bill Lamb, vice president of Block Communications.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Fox Right, Wrong In Affiliates Retrans Fight

Although I’ve been critical of Fox’s tactics, I agree fundamentally with what it is trying to achieve. If the Big Four are going to survive and prosper, they are going to have to keep pushing up the revenue they derive from retrans, directly through O&Os and indirectly through their affiliates. But Fox needs to recognize that every affiliate is different. If Fox is determined to negotiate with each station group individually, it should treat them as individuals, tailoring their demands to reflect each group financial situation. Insisting that each coughs up the same fee as if every business were the same makes no sense.