LeVar Burton Joins ‘National Spelling Bee’ As Scripps Hopes For Buzz

Can the venerable Scripps National Spelling Bee take on the look of a Winter Olympics or American Idol? Its backers are about to find out. Organizers of the event, which has kept Americans trying to figure out how to connect the right letters for words ranging from “sanitarium” to “xanthosis” for nearly a century, want to add new elements to the mix that might make the contest look less like something for elementary-school students and more like America’s Got Talent.

Scripps National Spelling Bee To Host 234 Spellers At 2022 Bee Week

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will welcome 234 spellers to National Harbor, Md., from May 31 to June 2 for the national rounds of competition and the first fully in-person Bee since 2019. The competitors advanced through local and regional bees that took place through April. The preliminaries are May 31, the quarterfinals and semifinals […]

LeVar Burton Joins Scripps National Spelling Bee As Host

LeVar Burton has been hired as host of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, giving the competition a celebrity headliner who’s also a longtime literacy advocate as Scripps takes over production of the bee telecast. Burton, who played Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and was the longtime host of the children’s educational […]

Scripps National Spelling Bee To Air Live On Ion & Bounce In 2022

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will air live on two U.S. broadcast television networks in 2022, making it accessible to the widest audience in its nearly 100-year history. The 2022 national competition on June 2 will mark a new chapter for the Bee as it makes its primetime debut on Ion and Bounce, available free […]

Scripps Seeks Ion Synergies With Diginet Moves

Scripps will continue to operate the Ion Television network on its 48 Ion stations’ primary channels but will cease operations of the Ion multicast networks Ion Plus, Qubo and Shop Ion, effective Feb. 28.

Scripps Completes Acquisition Of Ion Media

Scripps says the transaction provides about 60% accretion in free cash flow per share. It gives it a portfolio of 60 stations in 41 markets.

No Retrans, No Problem For Scripps-Ion

One rarely hears about a station group deciding not to pursue lucrative retransmission consent fees but when E.W. Scripps agreed to acquire Ion Media for $2.65 billion, it said the Ion stations would stick to must-carry. Analysts initially said they were surprised by the unusual strategy and asked about it during a conference call in which Scripps executives went over details of the transaction.


The Diginet World Is Having A Moment

Broadcasters including Scripps, Tegna, CBS, Sinclair, Ion and Gray have been laying bigger bets in the multicasting business, acquiring some of the more popular diginets and partnering to develop new ones in a market showing signs of further expansion. CBS’s new diginet DABL, for instance, is bringing back the classic lifestyle programming of Martha Stewart and others in the fall.

Ion Media Acquires Rights To “Chicago P.D.”

The agreement includes renewals of all Law & Order franchises, making Ion the only network to have all three series.

Ion, Others to FCC: 50% Solution Is Too Weak

Ion, Trinity and Univision have weighed in at the FCC with supplemental evidence for what they argue is the need to roll back the FCC’s 39% cap on a TV station group’s national audience reach, and preferably all the way rather than raising it once again.

Fox Could Move Sinclair Affils To Ion Stations

21st Century Fox is in talks to operate television stations across the U.S. with Ion Media Networks, potentially paving the way for Fox to dump Sinclair Broadcast Group as an affiliate partner, a person familiar with the situation said. Closely held Ion would contribute its more than 60 independent stations to the joint venture, while Fox would throw in its 28 stations, which include top markets such as New York and Los Angeles. As part of the deal, Fox would consider switching its affiliation to Ion from Sinclair for 26 stations that are up for renewal this year, said the person, who asked not to be identified.

18. ION MEDIA NETWORKS, West Palm Beach, FL

2016 Revenue: $147.9 million Stations: 62 stations in 56 markets Coverage: 64.82% Ownership: Private Key Executives: Brandon Burgess, chairman-CEO; David Glenn, co-head of TV stations operations; Terri Santisi, co-head of TV stations operations. What’s Up: It received $84.6 million for selling the spectrum of two of its stations. In May, Ion Media announced that it would move its New York […]

Where The Real TV Growth Is: Down The Dial

The Big Five plus Univision have all suffered ratings declines with 18-49s this season. But Telemundo and a host of smaller networks are growing.

Ion Television Unveils New Season, New Look

The programming service’s fall launch week kicks off tonight, highlighted by the season 4 premiere of original series Saving Hope at 11 p.m. ET.


Ion Acquires ABC’s ‘Rookie Blue’

Ion Television is adding a syndication run of ABC’s Canadian-produced police drama Rookie Blue to its  general entertainment lineup in the fall.

‘Blue Bloods’ In Multiplatform Syndi Launch

Hulu Plus and CBS announce new SVOD deal for CBS drama starring Tom Selleck. WGN America acquires exclusive basic cable rights while Ion gets exclusive weekday, primetime rights for off-net episodes.

Ion TV Wins $4M Lawsuit Over French Cop Show

‘Blue Bloods’ Set For Multiple Syndie Deals

CBS is expected to announce an SVOD deal for the Tom Selleck crime drama as well as pacts with both WGN America and Ion.

Ion Sets New Carriage Deal With DirecTV

Ion Media Networks today announced a new long-term agreement for Ion Television’s nationwide carriage on DirecTV. The agreement covers the distribution of Ion’s flagship network, Ion Television, on DirecTV’s broad platform of subscribers for years to come. Additionally, Ion Television will now be offered in high-definition on the satellite service and will remain available to subscribers […]

Ion Acquires ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’

It buys the off-net rights to all 10 seasons of the NBC-USA drama, the day after adding Numbers to its lineup.

Ion To Air ‘WWE Main Event’ Starting In October

WWE and Ion Television today announced a new weekly one-hour original series airing on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET. WWE Main Event will debut on Oct. 3 and feature performers from the rosters of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown. The new show will be available in 100 million U.S. television households on […]

Ion Expands ENTV Offerings On YouTube

The Ion network is moving further into the entertainment news business as part of YouTube’s effort to establish a string of channels on its site. Ion and partner PMC are expanding their ENTV (Entertainment News Television) brand with a network that will include a daily appearance by former Us Editor in Chief Bonnie Fuller and some longer-form programming.

Ion Renews ‘Flashpoint’ For Fifth Season

Ion Names Steve Sternberg SVP, Sales Research

Ion Media Networks announced today that television research executive Steve Sternberg has been named senior vice president, sales research.  Sternberg will be based in Ion’s New York office and report to Stephen Appel, president, sales, Ion Media Networks. In the newly created position, Sternberg and his team will be responsible for developing and implementing sales […]

Canadian ‘Flashpoint’ In U.S. Syndie Deal

Flashpoint has become the first of the Canadian imports to land a U.S. syndication deal in a complex arrangement with CBS and Ion that will allow both Flashpoint’s current U.S. network home, CBS, and its new one, Ion, to air originals of the procedural about an elite tactical unit.

DMA 24

Ion To Rechristen WQEX As WINP

The new calls for what’s now WQEX Pittsburgh are just part of Ion’s effort to transform the ShopNBC affiliate to its own network O&O with Qubo and Ion Life on subchannels.

DMA 23

Ion Buying WQEX Pittsburgh For $3 Million

The seller is noncommercial WQED, which has been trying to spin off the station since the mid-1990s. More than a decade ago, Ion, as Paxson Communications, had tried to acquire the station, but that deal ran into opposition from public TV advocates.