NAB 2014

Fox Affils Like What They Hear From Network

“There were things that [Fox] showed us today that I think makes us optimistic and confident that Fox is going to get this thing turned around and we’ll get back to a position of dominance that they and we have enjoyed for so long,” said Raycom's Jeff Rosser, chairman of the Fox affiliates board.

Fox affiliates were upbeat after getting a preview of the network’s primetime and sports programming plans during an affiliates meeting in Las Vegas on Tuesday, according to Jeff Rosser, chairman of the Fox affiliates board.

“There were things that they showed us today that I think makes us optimistic and confident that Fox is going to get this thing turned around and we’ll get back to a position of dominance that they and we have enjoyed for so long,” said Rosser after the closed-door session during the NAB Show. He is also group VP of television at Raycom Media.

Rosser declined to identify what sports and primetime programming Fox network executives promoted for the benefit of their affiliates. But he said that what the affiliates saw was distinctive and “does have that Fox edge to it. We’ll just have to see if it’s the kind of programming that’s going to get things turned around for us,” Rosser said.

Rosser also said that meeting focused largely on Fox’s sports and primetime programming plans. “Fox Sports is big, and they’re going to stay big with the plans they have,” he said.

Rosser also said that the affiliates have been encouraging the network to support the regulatory fights important to affiliates, even when the network doesn’t have a stake in a particular fight, such as the ongoing battle over joint sales agreements.

“Even though you don’t have a big dog in the fight, from time to time we would appreciate it if you would join our voice to make our voice stronger,” was how Rosser described the affiliates’ mood.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Rosser also said that even though the network and its O&O’s may not currently have an interest in station-sharing agreements, some day such deals may look more attractive to them. “And just because you don’t [have an interest] right now, indirectly you do because it affects your affiliates,” Rosser said.

Among the Fox executives at the session was Michael Biard, distribution president of Fox Networks, Rosser said.


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