Heartland Media may have just 11 stations in smaller markets, but it’s already flying its flag on both the OTT and voice platforms. Lisa Bishop, Heartland’s chief digital officer, says its strategy is driven by growing an audience on as many platforms as it can, even if monetization there remains frustratingly elusive.
DirecTV has resolved its five-week-old dispute with Heartland Media and the broadcaster has returned its eight network affiliates to the satcaster’s lineup. Heartland removed the eight stations from DirecTV on Aug. 10 when the two companies could not reach a new carriage pact.
After a bake off that included two other providers, Bob Prather’s budding small-market station group chooses Frankly for web CMS, mobile apps, online video and OTT. Frankly will also supply strategic consulting and support services as part of the four-year deal.
DIRECTV’s now six-day-old dispute with Heartland Media could take some time to resolve, says one Heartland executive. Heartland removed eight network affiliates from the satcaster’s lineup on Aug. 10 when the two companies could not reach a new carriage pact. Jerry Jones, GM of WTVA, the Heartland-owned NBC affiliate in Tupelo, Miss., has posted a new notice on his station’s website saying “this looks like it’s going to be a very slow process.”
Heartland CEO Bob Prather says the prior agreement with the satellite service expired in January and that DirecTV had continued to carry the stations since then under a series of extensions. But the negotiations finally broke down yesterday with DirecTV saying it would not meet Heartland’s final demands.
Heartland Media-owned USA Television Holdings and Maxair Media are buying the Chico-Redding, Calif., CBS-CW and NBC-Telemundo affiliates that USA will operate following closing.
Former Gray CEO Bob Prather’s Heartland Media has added its fifth station with this purchase from the Spain family’s WTVA Inc.
Former Gray CEO Bob Prather’s new Heartland Media is adding Chambers Communications’ ABC affiliates in Eugene and Medford-Klamath Falls.