New Orleans Fox affiliate WVUE owner Tom Benson announced Wednesday that his Louisiana Media Co. reached a shared services agreement with Raycom Media that “allows the New Orleans-based television station to remain locally-owned, and expands its regional opportunities.”
The CW affiliate was just purchased by Excalibur Broadcasting from Lockwood and upon approval of the deal, Gray Television will provide it with back-office services and limited programming. Gray owns the market’s NBC affiliate WSAZ.
The FCC should rule that virtual duopolies based on JSAs and SSAs are allowable only if the owners of the second stations are minorities or women. This would act as a powerful incentive for broadcasters to seek out such partners and give them the experience to eventually venture out on their own.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on a proposal to tighten up on the use of joint sales agreements and shared services agreements: “If the FCC effectively prohibits these agreements, fewer stations in small-town America will offer news programming, and they will invest less in newsgathering. And the economics suggest that there likely will be fewer television stations, period.”
The cuts to the 43-person staff at Fisher’s CBS affil KIDK Idaho Falls are revealed following announcement of a shared-services agreement with News-Press & Gazette’s KIFI.