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.

The E.W. Scripps Co. will begin to migrate its multicast networks Bounce, Court TV, Court TV Mystery, Grit and Laff to carriage on the company’s newly acquired Ion stations beginning March 1. The rolling transition will continue as those networks’ affiliation agreements expire over the next five years.

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.

“The distribution expansion of the Scripps multicast networks through Ion’s broadcast spectrum is the first major step in our realizing the tremendous synergies of the Ion transaction,” said Scripps President-CEO Adam Symson. “National Networks President Lisa Knutson and her team are working quickly and effectively to uphold Scripps’ commitment to executing our plan. Once again, Scripps is doing what we said we would do.”

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Scripps also began this week to implement previously announced cost savings related to the Ion acquisition through a reduction of about 120 jobs across its national networks and corporate workforce.

Scripps now expects to exceed its initial Ion acquisition estimates of $500 million in synergies, most of which are contractually based, over the next six years.

The Scripps national networks coming to Ion stations are:

BRAND CONNECTIONS

  • Bounce, the first and only broadcast and multi-platform entertainment network serving African Americans, featuring a programming mix of original series and movies, off-network series, theatrical motion pictures, specials, live sports and events.
  • Court TV, devoted to live, gavel-to-gavel coverage, in-depth legal reporting and expert analysis of the nation’s most important and compelling trials.
  • Court TV Mystery, which reaches women 25-54 with programming anchored in true crime.
  • Grit, targeting men 25-54 with a lineup of western and action movies and series.
  • Laff, devoted to comedy around-the-clock and presenting contemporary off-network sitcoms geared toward adults 18-49.
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Comments (2)

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AdamMadMan says:

January 14, 2021 at 2:02 pm

Scripps can do what they want with Ion Plus and Shop, but getting rid of Qubo is a horrible move for the over-the-air industry, as I’ve explained in this article: https://adammadman.medium.com/how-over-the-air-broadcasters-ignore-kids-and-how-it-hurts-their-bottom-line-bb7bea427160

[email protected] says:

January 15, 2021 at 12:39 am

I didn’t watch Qubo as Charter Spectrum never had ION subchannels in the lineup only non-Top 5 channel they ever added was WLLA .2 which was Retro TV now ME-TV for the past 7 years in the summer of 2013. They do have all the PBS subchannels, Charter Spectrum doesn’t have WWMT .3 which is Comet TV.

I saw that Laff was added to WZPX .5 Laff which Wood TV has Laff on .3 which Nexstar airs most of the Katz Networks kinda surprised they didn’t swap one of the Katz networks for Antenna TV which has been WXMI Fox17 .2 since day 1 since Tribune-owned Fox17 before the merger with Nexstar that sold it to Scripps in the fall of 2019. I agree with you Adam on cartoons wish that the networks would air Sat morning cartoons.


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