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.
Real estate billionaire Sam Zell and other former officers and directors of Tribune Co. have reached a $200 million settlement resolving allegations of fraudulent transactions related to the media company’s disastrous 2007 leveraged buyout.
The two largest newspaper chains in the country, USA Today publisher Gannett and Chicago Tribune owner Tribune, may reignite merger talks, now that both have dispatched with hostile takeovers by smaller suitors. Sources say that there have already been back-door reach-outs in recent months.
A judicial panel has consolidated at least 18 antitrust suits against five TV station groups for allegedly colluding on spot pricing in the federal district court in Chicago. The defendants, which include Tribune, Sinclair and in some cases Gray, Hearst, Nexstar and Tegna, had pushed for the consolidation. The proliferatng suits are an outgrowth of a Justice Department review of the merger of Sinclair and Tribune, which was scuttled after the FCC found evidence of misrepresentation by Sinclair. (Free registration required.)
New carriage contracts with FiOS, Atlantic Broadband and Google Fiber cover more than 3.6 million subscribers.
Tribune-owned WGN Chicago (DMA 3) is set to unveil a state-of-the-art multiple use news set, which will house the main set as well as set locations for sports, traffic, interviews, cooking segments and more. The set will debut on WGN Evening News at 4pm on Wednesday, May 17. The new set incorporates the latest in studio technology, […]
The Tribune Broadcasting executive will succeed Greg Easterly in running the group’s CW affiliate in New York.
Tribune-owned CW affiliate WGN Chicago will move a step closer to around-the-clock news with the launch next month of a one-hour newscast at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The addition will bring “Chicago’s Very Own” to a record 70½ hours of news each week, plus news produced throughout the day for its CLTV cable channel.
Entering the second month of a blackout that has kept 42 Tribune-owned network affiliates in 33 markets off Dish Network, Charlie Ergen, chairman and CEO of the satellite TV service, said his company is “tens of millions of dollars apart” with the broadcaster, and didn’t sound hopeful about one of the largest ever retrans-related blackouts ending soon.
Dish has asked Tribune to agree to “binding, baseball-style arbitration” that would “determine the fair market value of their channels” — and, in the meantime, allow the satellite company to air the services that went dark in the dispute. The fight has left about 5 million satellite customers unable to see Tribune stations, and about 7 million unable to watch WGNA.
A determined cadre of station groups remains intent on replacing pricey Hollywood syndication shows with programming of its own. Among the upcoming do-it-yourself offerings is a talk show from Tegna Media hosted by T.D. Jakes set to debut this fall.
The station group is balking at renewing its affiliation with the CBS-Warner Bros. network, objecting to paying higher reverse comp and insisting on another long-term deal, according to sources. If a deal can’t be reached, streaming CW is among the options.
The CW is heading into its 10th anniversary next year. But before the network can start planning a fall 2016 celebration, it has to close three deals key to the network’s livelihood for the next decade. Coming up later this year is the CW’s pact with Netflix, followed next year by the agreements with Tribune and Hulu.
Some may downplay FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plans to eliminate the network non-dupe and syndicated exclusivity rules, but that would be a mistake. The move means that cable and satellite operators have likely won the first battle in their campaign to rewrite the retrans rules and undermine broadcasters’ ability to negotiate for higher fees.
Tribune’s Gracenote, which provides video metadata for interactive programming guides and other digital video information services for media companies and consumers, is augmenting its offerings with the $50 million acquisition of Baseline, which provides descriptive information about movies and TV programming.
In Chicago, the broadcaster is preparing to use Brainstorm’s computer-generated set for its 24/7 cable news channel as well as for special events and sports and talk shows on the channel and on flagship WGN.
Cooking/nutrition series Now Eat This! with Rocco Dispirito, syndicated by Bellum Entertainment, will premiere next week. It will be seen in eight of the top 10 markets and is being carried by all of the Tribune stations.
The new Cablevision deal with CBS could set a financial framework for a deal with Tribune, where WPIX in New York has been off homes in a huge portion of the country’s largest market for weeks. CBS will be affected by the standoff, since it is a part owner in the CW network, which is unavailable in many New York homes now.
To produce the extra hour, the Tribune station is hiring five full-time employees, including two on-air positions. “Every time we’ve launched a new newscast, we’ve always said, ‘Let’s do this with more. Let’s do this right,’” says News Director Lee Rosenthal. The station is now airing a promo for the newscast, which is set to debut next Monday.
CTShopsHere.com offers local Hartford and national deals, money saving tips and lets consumers buy and sell.
A group of syndie execs examine both sides of issues including short-run tests for new shows; whether barter-based deals would diminish as cash starts to free up; what the slim pickings in new shows this year means; and whether there are obvious replacements on the horizon for Regis Philbin, Oprah Winfrey and Mary Hart.
The Chicago Tribune and other Tribune Co. newspapers have signed a multi-year agreement to become charter subscribers to the new Reuters America wire service, a move that will make them less reliant on Associated Press for print and online content.
Probably not, but the upcoming and much ballyhooed experiment with anchorless news at Tribune’s KIAH Houston may allow broadcasters to gauge just how much value anchors still have these days. “There will always be a voice and lots of personality,” says Lee Abrams, who conceived the anchorless newscast before being forced to resign from Tribune. “There just won’t be two people behind the desk.”
Still recovering from a management scandal that claimed its chief executive a week ago, Tribune Co. is bracing for its next disruption: How to cope with legal challenges from Aurelius Capital Management and other unhappy creditors seeking to upend its bankruptcy case. Creditors face a midnight Friday deadline for submitting restructuring plans.