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.

‘How I Met Your Mother’ Joins Laff Lineup

Laff, a multicast network devoted to comedy around-the-clock, has added all nine seasons and 208 episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Laff will premiere the multiple Emmy-winning series with a […]

‘According To Jim’ Coming To Laff

According to Jim starring Jim Belushi will be seen weekdays 5-7 p.m. ET on Scripps-owned comedy diginet Laff beginning Monday, March 4. Belushi plays an easy-going suburban Chicago father who often […]

Katz Nets Adding 3 More Off-Net Series

Scripps-owned Katz Networks on Monday announced three major off-network series licensing agreements: Escape, the over-the-air network targeting women 25-54 with stories of crime and mystery, has acquired the television rights to Law […]

‘3rd Rock’ Debuts July 16 On Laff

Scripps-owned Laff diginet is adding 3rd Rock from the Sun  to its sitcom hall of fame lineup on Monday, July 16. Laff will present two-full hours of the former NBC […]


Laff Lands ‘Home Improvement’; Debuts In Fall

Laff, the E.W. Scripps-owned comedy multicast network, has acquired the television rights to Home Improvement from The Disney/ABC Television Group. In the multi-year licensing agreement announced today, Laff acquires the rights […]


E.W. Scripps Closes $302M Katz Purchase

Since Scripps was already a 5% owner in a portion of the business, its net purchase price is $292 million for the multicast networks Bounce, Grit, Escape and Laff.

Laff Sets Record with ‘That ’70s Show’ Marathon

Laff, the Katz-owned comedy multicast network that’s being acquired by E.W. Scripps, introduced the multiple Emmy-winning sitcom That ’70s Show to its lineup with a daylong marathon on Sunday, Sept. 24. The marathon […]


Univision Renews Distribution Deal With Katz

The new agreement extends carriage of the Bounce, Escape, Grit and Laff multicast networks through 2024. In addition, Univision will add Bounce in Washington on Sept. 30.

Scripps Buys Katz Diginets For $302 Million

Scripps was already a 5% owner in a portion of the business, so its net purchase price is $292 million for Bounce, Grit, Escape and Laff. Founder Jonathan Katz will continue to lead the Katz networks business. The company, with about 130 employees, will remain based in the Atlanta area.


Optimistic Outlook On Multicast’s Prospects

While diginets still have some hurdles to face — such as rising program license fees — they have captured the attention of general-market advertisers and they are looking forward to the rollout of the upcoming ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard with its expanded capacity. What’s more, the multicast networks are relieved that the FCC’s incentive auction and ongoing repack of the TV band isn’t affecting their station carriage deals to any significant extent.

Susan Malfa To Head Sales At Katz Diginets

The veteran cable net sales executive will oversee sales at Bounce, Escape, Grit and Laff.


WSOC Adding Telemundo Subchannel

The Cox-owned ABC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., will launch a Spanish subchannel this summer carrying programming from the Telemundo network. Telemundo Charlotte will air on ch. 9.2. Laff, the comedy diginet currently at that dial position, will move to ch. 64.4 of co-owned independent WAXN.


‘Roseanne’ Debuts On Laff With Season 1 Marathon

Roseanne Barr and her television family the Conners are back on broadcast television as Roseanne premieres on the Laff multicast network Oct. 30 and 31. To celebrate the launch of the […]


Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud

While the spectrum auction and repack could raise challenges, most multicast network players say they’re bullish on the business, especially with the likely adoption of ATSC 3.0. Diginets keep adding affiliates and expanding coverage and the top ones have begun attracting general market advertising. This is Part 1 of a four-part special report on multicasting. Parts 2 and 3 also appear today. Part 4, running Thursday morning, will focus on the technology of compression and channel sharing. You can read the other stories here.

Escape, Grit And Laff Add More Markets

E.W. Scripps and Cox Media are among the five station groups launching the Katz Broadcasting diginets.

Katz, Bounce Boost Diginet Distribution

The expansion comes from multi-year deals for Bounce TV, Escape, Grit and Laff with Nexstar, Mission and White Knight.

Calandria Meadows Named Digital VP Of Katz Diginets

Social media veteran Calandria Meadows has been named to the newly-created position of vice president, social media and digital content for Katz Broadcasting’s multicast networks Grit, Escape and Laff as […]

Laff Adds Five Carsey-Werner Sitcoms

The Katz Broadcasting diginet boosts its comedy lineup with Roseanne, That ’70s Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Grounded for Life and Cybill in multi-year licensing agreements.

Laff, Grit, Escape Diginets Add New Markets

With the additions for the Katz Broadcasting networks, Laff climbs to 76.3% of U.S. and 86.5 million homes, Grit to 88%/99 million HHs and Escape to 78%/88.4 million.

‘Night Court’ Back In Session On Laff Diginet

Katz Broadcasting’s comedy-themed multicast network Laff will add Night Court to its lineup starting Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. The show was a staple of NBC’s primetime lineup from 1984 to […]

Tribune, Media General Add Grit, Escape, Laff

The agreements for the three Katz Broadcasting diginets drive Grit to 86% of U.S. and 97 million households, Escape to 68%/77 million and Laff to 64%/72.4 million.


OTA The Bedrock Of Katz’s Growing Diginets

Jonathan Katz, who oversees the Bounce TV, Grit, Escape and Laff multicast networks, says that all four are growing viewers and will eventually all offer at least some original programming. The brands were designed to fill a consumer need, he explains, “while helping broadcasters monetize their spectrum and do what they do best, which is serve and entertain viewers in their communities….So over-the-air TV to us is not just the original over the top with the highest reach, but it’s also the original skinny bundle at the best price point imaginable for a consumer: free.”


Narrowing Focus Marks Newest Diginets

As the market for subchannel options matures, there’s a new wave of multicast networks with significant distribution, tightly focused brands and programming and, in some cases, a smattering of distinguishing original programming. This is Part Two of a four-part special report on multicasting running this week. Read the other stories here.

Scripps In Multi-Net Deal For Katz Diginets

The deal covers 18 markets, makes multicast networks Grit available in 93 million households, Escape in 70 million and Laff in 64 million.


Equipment Problems Delay Laff Debut On WKBW

Laff Diginet Rolls Out On Multiple Platforms

Katz Broadcasting’s comedy-driven multicast network makes its debut today. It also licenses Spin City, introduces  and a free Laff TV app in Apple iTunes store for iPhones and Google Play Store for Android devices.

Meredith To Add Three Katz Diginets

The broadcast group will introduce Grit, Escape and Laff in five major markets, bringing U.S. coverage of the networks to 78% for Grit, 58% for Escape and 50% for Laff, which premieres next month.

LAFF Announces First Film Licensing Agreements

Continuing to assemble programming assets as it prepares to debut on April 15, t Katz Broadcasting’s over-the-air broadcast television network devoted to comedy —Laff — today announced film licensing agreements […]

DMAS 7, 8, 14, 18, 22, 24 & 64

Cox To Carry Laff Diginet In Seven Markets

Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Charlotte and Dayton are the latest additions to the Katz Broadcasting network that debuts on April 15.

LAFF Comedy Diginet Lands Five Sitcoms

The Drew Carey Show and Ellen will be among the sitcoms the Katz Broadcasting-owned comedy network will air when it launches on April 15. LAFF currently has distribution deals with the ABC Owned and Scripps station groups.


Diginets Proliferate And Possiblities Expand

With multiple introductions of new multicast networks at this week’s NATPE, and no shortage of existing ones, it gets one to wondering how they can all survive. The added capabilities of the upcoming next-gen broadcast standard will mean more space for them. And with smart, gradual investments in originals, some diginets could become great businesses and real contributors to the top lines of TV stations.


Katz Broadcasting To Launch Laff Diginet

The comedy-driven broadcast television network will debut on April 15 on ABC Owned Television Stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh, N.C., and Fresno, Calif., as well as Scripps stations in 13 markets. The ABC O&Os will also continue to air the Live Well Network.