A former Portland television news reporter is seeking class action status for a federal lawsuit that accuses the Sinclair Broadcasting Group of failing to pay overtime to news reporters at its Oregon television stations. The stations formerly were owned by Fisher Communications but were acquired by Sinclair in a $373 million deal announced in April. The suit also names Fisher as a defendant.
Local newspapers and broadcasters today are seeking content management systems that are faster and more complex than ever before. And while vendors are constantly developing new products to keep up with evolving demands, the industry is facing contraction. “There are just too many players, and nobody is really big enough to have any control,” says Internet Broadcasting’s Elmer Baldwin. “There are some that just aren’t going to survive.” Part two of a three-part special report. Read part one here
Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Thursday that it has closed on its previously announced acquisition of Fisher Communications Inc. valued at approximately $373.3 million. The deal included 13 full-power and seven low-power TV stations and four radio stations. Under the terms of the agreement, Fisher shareholders received $41 in cash for each share of Fisher common stock they owned. The transaction represented a 44% premium to the closing price of Fisher common stock on Jan. 9, the final trading day prior to Fisher announcing a review of strategic alternatives.
Strong automotive and a 6% incrase in retransmission consent fees to $6.6 million fuel the gain.
Operational and staff changes are under way at the Eugene, Ore., NBC affiliate following the station’s acquisition by Seattle-based Fisher Communications. But details about how many of KMTR’s roughly 50 employees would be affected by the changes, and when, were not available on Monday, as rumors circulated around town about layoffs at the station.
It cites strong growth in automotive, financial services and retail spending along with an 82% increase in retrans revenue to $6.5 million.
An investor who holds shares of Fisher Communications Inc. has filed a lawsuit against directors of Fisher in effort to halt the proposed takeover of Fisher by Sinclair Broadcast Group for $41 per share.The plaintiff alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties by agreeing to sell the company too cheaply via an unfair process to Sinclair.
Under the terms of the agreement, Fisher shareholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of Fisher common stock they own. The transaction represents a 44% premium to the closing price of Fisher common stock on Jan. 9. Fisher owns 20 TV stations in eight markets, reaching 3.9% of U.S. TV households, and three radio stations in the Seattle market.
Sources say Sinclair has beaten out LIN for Fisher’s 13 full-power and seven LPTV stations.
The 4Q gain to $46.7 million is driven by political and an 81% increase in retrans money. Full-year rev climbs 15% to $147.3 million.
It hires a financial adviser and legal counsel to “explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives intended to enhance shareholder value.”
The Moblile 500 Alliance, with Fisher Communications and Hubbard Broadcasting, is distributing 750 receivers in each market for use with iPhones and iPads. Nielsen and Rentrak will evaluate the launch data and Lincoln and Chrysler are the inaugural advertisers.
The company will buy back up to $15 million in shares of common stock next year.
The purchase of the NBC affiliate from Newport Television will give it an operating duopoly in the Oregon market along with its KVAL, the CBS affil.
President-CEO Colleen Brown tells analysts “we monitor how much of our spectrum we are using, and we are completely full-up. So … economically, I can’t see that there is a way — we’ve run this many different ways — to participate.”
It sets a special $10-per-share dividend, and also institutes a quarterly dividend beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.
Fisher Communications Inc. today has promoted David Praga to vice president. Praga will continue to serve as GM of Fisher’s KIMA-KEPR-KUNW Yakima, Wash., and KLEW Lewiston, Idaho. Praga began his career at KEPR almost 21 years ago as a sales assistant and has held various leadership roles at the station, including operations director, account executive and […]
The new over-the-air Hispanic network will air on a subchannel of KUNS Seattle and on KUNP-LP Portland.
Investment fund manager Mario Gabelli says the company has received a bid of “$40 or better” and he wants to know why the board of directors isn’t telling shareholders.
The increase to $36.7 million, is driven by an 8% gain in core revenue, and 89% rise in retrans and a 355% boost in political money.
The company promotes the news director of its Portland, Ore., ABC affiliate to VP-general manager of its KBOI (CBS) and KYUU (CW) in Idaho.
The new Livefyre platform replaces static comment sections of Fisher’s websites with dynamic, real-time conversations.
Bob Saunders, president of the broadband DSL cable provider, sees a business in streaming broadcast signals and other programming via the Internet to paying subscribers in small, rural communities. While broadcasters are wary of others distributing their signals, Saunders says he’s not trying to get something for nothing: “We want to pay retransmission where it’s required. We want to be a good actor on the scene.”
A soft national ad market offsets a 9% increase in developing media revenue and an 8% increase in retransmission revenue.
The gains were powered by double-digit gains in retrans revenue, auto and professional services spending and developing media revenue.
Early next month, veteran KPIC News Director Dan Bain will look into the camera in the Roseburg, Ore., CBS affiliate’s studio and sign off for the last time. Bain, who has anchored the evening news in Roseburg for just short of 20 years, will lose his job March 9 when corporate parent Fisher Broadcasting eliminates the news director position at KPIC. His counterpart at co-owned KCBY Coos Bay, Tim Novotny, is being terminated at the same time. Both stations are satellites of KVAL Eugene.
Fisher Communications today announced the election of Peter E. Murphy to its board of directors, effective immediately. Murphy fills the vacant seat formerly occupied by Roger Ogden, who resigned from the board in October 2011. Murphy is the founder of Wentworth Capital Management, a private investment and venture capital firm focused on media, technology, and […]
The broadcaster will use the $160 million in cash to pay off debt. It also approves a $25-million stock repurchase plan.
The broadcaster is partnering with the Web content management firm to monetize desktop and mobile video and live streamed content.
SeattleNow.com will offer the region’s shoppers daily deals, local coupon offers and discounts to area restaurants, as well as discounts to several national retailers.
However, excluding political ad revenue, its TV core advertising revenue increased 9% to $22.8 million with gains in professional services, retail and automotive categories. Retrans revenue increased 4%.
Multi-screen measurement provider Rentrak today announced Fisher Communications has renewed its StationView Essentials contract for its CBS and Fox stations in Bakersfield, Calif., and has added its Seattle ABC affiliate, KOMO. “Continuous, passive and electronic measurement that results in stable viewing information has provided our Bakersfield stations with a competitive advantage in the marketplace over […]
Deployed at more than 60 US television stations, SpotMixer.tv, an online video creation solution designed for local ad sales and production teams, has been added as a sales tool by Fisher Communications and New Vision Television stations.
Increases in TV core advertising, retransmission revenue and Internet revenue offset the expected decrease in political revenue. Excluding political resulted in a 4% gain in net revenue. The company also announces promotions for Hassan Natha and Sherry Pelletier.
The new lifestyle website is aimed at 18-49ers on a variety of topics designed to complement Fisher’s KOMOnews.com. The company plans to roll out more Pulp sites, with PortlandPulp slated for later this summer.
Block Communications will not be picking up The CW for KTRV Boise, Idaho, after losing Fox to former CW affiliate KNIN.. Instead, the new CW affiliate is Fisher Communications’ KBOI (CBS), which will put The CW on a subchannel and a low-power station.
Locally-based podcasts targeted to the 18-49 demo will offer national distribution and targeted advertising opportunities.
Panelists say the state of the station groups this year is positive, with Sinclair’s David Amy summing up: “The business isn’t going in the wrong direction. It’s going in the right direction.”
Yesterday’s board election resolves a proxy fight that started shortly after the first of the year when Fisher disclosed it had received a $211 million unsolicited takeover bid by Huntingdon REIT, a Canadian real estate investment trust. While the vote may indicate a shift in sentiment, Fisher’s six directors still dominate the nine-member board.
Core ad revenue grows 9%, retrans is up 25%, while Internet revenue jumps 89%.