Mediacom Communications announced Thursday that it reached a carriage agreement with Granite Broadcasting Corp. covering KBJR Duluth, Minn.; WISE Fort Wayne, Ind.; and WEEK Peoria, Ill. The Granite stations, which went dark on Mediacom systems on June 1, will be immediately reinstated on the Mediacom channel lineup in the markets where Granite operates the primary network affiliate. “We thank our customers for their patience and continued loyalty as we worked to reach a new contract with Granite Broadcasting,” said Ed Pardini, Mediacom’s SVP of field operations.
KBJR (NBC-MNT) Duluth, Minn.; WISE (NBC-MNT) Fort Wayne, Ind.; and WEEK (NBC) Peoria, Ill., go dark on Mediacom systems after a retrans contract expired with no new deal in place.
Since February, engineers have conducted a closed test at Granite Broadcasting’s KOFY, but Bay Area television viewers may soon have a service that brings free over-the-air TV to tablet computers. Tablet TV, a 2-year-old joint venture between Granite, a New York company that operates stations in six markets, and Motive Television, a London tech firm, plans a more widespread beta test starting in early September, with the service set to begin Black Friday, the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving kickoff of holiday shopping.
Tablet Television, a broadcast TV service for tablets, has revealed plans for its first beta market test in San Francisco and start of commercial operations in autumn 2014. Tablet TV, a joint venture of Motive Television and Granite Broadcasting, will let viewers watch and record live broadcast content in HD in every market in the U.S. and, in association with local broadcasting partners, will be able to provide on-demand packages. Additional features such as fully-integrated social television will be available to Internet connected viewers.
It’s purchasing WEEK Peoria-Bloomington, Ill.; WPTA Fort Wayne, Ind.; KBJR and its satellite, KRII, Duluth, Minn.-Superior, Wis.; and WBNG Binghamton, N.Y. In addition, Quincy will provide operating services to WHOI and WAOE Peoria-Bloomington, Ill., as well as to stations to be acquired by SagamoreHill Broadcasting: WISE Fort Wayne, Ind., and KDLH Duluth, Minn.-Superior, Wis.
The E.W. Scripps announced this moring that it has a deal to buy two Granite Broadcasting stations — ABC affiliate WKBW and MNT affiliate WMYD Detroit — for $110 million in cash.
Despite the fact that representatives from E.W. Scripps Co. toured WKBW Buffalo, N.Y.’s operations last week, broadcasting industry insiders say don’t assume anything. Scripps, according to several industry reports, is one of several media groups reportedly interested in Granite Broadcasting Corp.’s eight TV stations, including WKBW. Granite officials declined to comment. The tour, insiders say, was just that — a tour.
The Nexstar independent station — and the market’s former Fox affil — is back as the market’s Fox home on March 1. The move comes following a settlement of an antitrust lawsuit between Nexstar and Granite Broadcasting, owner of NBC affil WISE, which has been carrying Fox on a subchannel since 2011.
It’s buying the NBC affiliate from Granite Broadcasting and will run it under a TBA while awaiting FCC approval. Nexstar already owns the market’s CBS affiliate, KGPE.
The fallout from the year-ago upheaval in affiliations in the 109th TV market depends on whom you talk to. NBC affil WISE is thrilled with the increase in sports programming it’s gotten from adding Fox on a subchannel, while WFFT, now an independent, says its Rentrak numbers are strong and tracking up. But Nielsen numbers and local ad buyers paint a somewhat different story.
With four significant TV station group deals within the past year, there is a growing number of groups up for sale. But right now few buyers are willing to pay the multiples that the sellers are demanding. “Owners are either going to have to take lower prices and come out under water or hold stations for another two years,” says broker Larry Patrick.
Time Warner Cable dropped ABC affiliate WKBW Buffalo, N.Y., from its system in Hornell, N.Y. The MSO already carries the feed for Elmira, N.Y.-based ABC affil WENY in Hornell, and said it refused demands from station owner Granite Broadcasting that it pay for duplicate broadcast channels.
The broadcaster is partnering with Motive Television PLC to test Motive’s mobile service that would deliver signals to smartphones, tablets and other portable devices using a dongle with DTV receiver.
Multicast music channel TheCoolTV says that it has added Granite Broadcasting’s WMYD Detroit to its affiliate roster. The addition increases the channel’s coverage to 43% of U.S. TV homes, according to channel parent Cool Music Network LLC. Last week, the channel signed up KQSL San Francisco.
The American Cable Association is using the Fort Wayne, Ind., antitrust suit by Nexstar against Granite to bolster its contention that the FCC needs to change its rules to limit concentration of station ownership and control. Nexstar says that’s not so, that the situation in Fort Wayne is unique.
Nexstar claims Granite’s WISE Fort Wayne Ind., is attempting to monopolize ad sales in the market through its shared services agreement with Malara’s WPTA and control of the local ad sales of three of the Big Four networks, plus MNT and the CW.
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.
Harris Corp. has been awarded a multi-year contract by Granite Broadcasting to transition eight markets and 17 channels from Granite’s existing traffic and billing software to Harris OSi-Traffic. OSi-Traffic is a scalable traffic and billing solution with no limit to the number of stations that can be managed from a single-server architecture. Channels can be added with […]
Members of the Peoria, Ill., local chapter of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists at WEEK and WHOI on Friday rejected what the stations’ owner Granite Broadcasting called its “last, best and final offer.”
Employees at WEEK and WHOI say they are prepared to strike over negotiations with the stations’ owner, Granite Broadcasting Corp. Employees say Granite’s push to be able to “hire out” its news coverage of the Peoria area could mean that the city will eventually be covered from Fort Wayne, Ind.
The Granite independent in San Francisco has has cut 20% of its technical work force, including half with more than 20 years of service.
About a week after the November sweeps ended and three weeks before Christmas, The Granite Broadcasting ABC affiliate gave six employees their walking papers Friday. Gone are three photographers, an assignment editor, a newly-hired producer and a staffer for the station’s website.