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Posts Tagged ‘Fisher Communications’

Former Eugene Meteorologist Takes a Swing at Sinclair, the FCC and KMTR

Joseph Calbreath, retired meteorologist for Eugene, OR, NBC affiliate KMTR, is not being shy about giving viewers his take on Fisher Communications‘ acquisition of his former station and the layoffs that followed. In a facebook post riddled with misspellings and grammatical mistakes, Calbreath lets loose on everyone from the FCC to future owner Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

“Little did I know a couple of months ago when I picked the date of my retirement that it would coincided with the transfer of ownership that would result in 31 of my friends loosing their jobs in a blood bath type fashion.”

Calbreath retired from KMTR on May 31 after working there for almost 25 years. “Since this page is in my name and has nothing to do with my former employer, I will start changing the information I share here. I now for the first time in 30 year can have an opinion about things.” Read more

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Advertisers Wary of KMTR After Reported Layoffs

What KMTR called “operational and organizational changes” earlier in the week, some employees of the Eugene, OR, NBC affiliate are now calling a “bloodbath,” The Register-Guard reports and it’s worrying station advertisers.

According to The Register-Guard, “Employees, former employees and advertisers said they have been told that 31 of the station’s approximately 50 workers received layoff notices after sale of the station to Seattle-based Fisher Communications closed on Monday, retroactive to June 1.”

KMTR was bought by Fisher Communications which will operate the station in tandem with its Eugene CBS affiliate KVAL under a shared services agreement with Roberts Media, LLC.

Donna Smith, president of the Adlib Advertising Agency told The Register-Guard, “We buy (advertising spots on) the evening and late night news. I’ve asked questions of them: ‘Whose news is going to be on? Is it going to be a replay of KVAL News? Are you going to hire cheaper (anchors)? Is the price going to go down? And what’s going to happen in four months when it’s all taken over by Sinclair?’ ” Read more

Layoffs Possible After Sale Of KMTR

With Fisher Communications taking over at KMTR in Eugene, Ore., “operational and staff” changes are on the way, the Register-Guard reports.

KMTR, previously owned by Newport Television, was purchased by Roberts Media, LLC and will be operated by Fisher Communications under a shared services agreement. Content sharing between KMTR and KVAL, Fisher’s CBS affiliate in Eugene, will begin next month.

KVAL-KMTR general manager Greg Raschio told the Register-Guard that management has held individual meetings with “virtually every employee.”

“Any operational and organizational changes that are made will be to gain efficiencies and eliminate (duplication),” Raschio said. “Out of respect for the individuals I’m not going to give you any numbers or names.”

Fisher Communications is in the process of being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which Raschio said may bring more changes to the station later this year.

Fisher Communications TV Revenue Up 12%

Fisher Communications’ total television net revenue was $32.6 million in the first quarter of 2013. The 12% increase on the year-ago quarter was attributed to strong growth in the automotive, financial services and retail categories

The station group, which Sinclair Broadcast Group is in the process of acquiring, reported retransmission consent revenue increased 82% to $6.5 million in the first quarter. TV cash flow was $7 million, an increase of 33% on the year-ago quarter.

“2013 is off to a strong start, led by the continued market share growth among our broadcast stations,” Fisher president and CEO Colleen B. Brown said in a statement. “This momentum reflects the quality and value of our local brands and is the direct result of solid execution across our group of broadcast stations.”

Sinclair CEO: More Acquisitions Planned

As we told you yesterday, Sinclair Broadcast Group is paying $373 million for Fisher Communications, the Seattle-based owner of 20 television stations and 3 radio stations. The Seattle Times notes “local media ownership takes a hit” with the merger:

When KOMO-TV owner Fisher Communications becomes part of the much larger Sinclair Broadcast Group of Baltimore this fall, Seattle will lose its last locally owned network television station. It also will lose a corporate name that played a prominent part in the region’s economy for just over a century.

[...] Fisher has about 775 employees nationally and does not disclose how many are at its Seattle headquarters. Asked whether those core employees will keep their jobs, a Fisher spokesman said, “It is premature to speculate about integration planning.”

Sinclair’s hometown newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, reports the company — which will reach 34 percent of the airwaves after the FCC’s approval of the sale — has no plans to stop expanding:

But during a conference call with analysts, [Wells Fargo senior analyst Marci] Ryvicker questioned whether Sinclair’s acquisitions would soon be limited by Federal Communications Commission rules saying a single owner’s group of stations cannot reach more than 39 percent of all TV households.

“Now that [stations] cover 34 percent of the country, how much more can you do?” she asked.

“We can do a lot more,” responded [Sinclair CEO David] Smith, explaining that the percentage of household coverage, as calculated by the FCC, would be far below 34 percent because the FCC counts UHF stations, or Ultra High Frequency, as half of a non-UHF station. Read more

Sinclair Broadcast Group to Acquire Fisher Communications for $373M

Sinclair Broadcast Group is buying Fisher Communications for $373.3 million, the two companies announced Thursday.

Fisher owns 20 television stations in eight markets, reaching 3.9% of U.S. TV households (full list is after the jump). The transaction also includes three radio stations in Seattle. As part of the terms of the agreement, Fisher will provide “certain operating services” for three TV stations in Eugene, Ore. –  KMTR, KMCB and KTCW — after the transaction is approved by the FCC.

TVNewsCheck reports Sinclair won a bidding war with LIN Media for the station group “in a deal finalized in the wee hours of Tuesday night.”

“Sinclair is the largest independent TV broadcaster in the country, and we believe its commitment to the industry — along with its greater scale and sizable resources — will provide our stations, team members and business partners with new opportunities to flourish,” Fisher president and CEO Colleen B. Brown said in a statement. Read more

Fisher Communications Considering Sale

Fisher Communications is exploring “potential strategic alternatives,” including a sale, the company announced Thursday.

“The Company has not made a decision to pursue any specific strategic transaction or any other strategic alternative, and there is no set timetable for the strategic review process,” Fisher said in a statement.

Fisher is the owner of 13 stations across the Pacific Northwest. Reuters reports the sale is being explored “under pressure from billionaire investor Mario Gabelli.”

Q3 Earnings: Fisher TV Revenue Increases 13%

Fisher Communications reported television segment revenue of $36.4 million on Thursday, an increase of +13% from $30.5 million in the third quarter of 2011.

The company reported a +285% increase in political ad revenue — $6.3 million for Q3 2012 compared to $947,000 for Q3 2011. Net television revenue, excluding political revenue, increased +5; television cash flow increased +55%.

“Fisher’s positive momentum continued throughout the third quarter, led by the strength of our stations, strong political spending and new retransmission agreements,” Fisher president and CEO Colleen Brown said in a statement. ”Our stations delivered audience share and revenue growth, as we continue to leverage the company’s key set of multiplatform offerings to our competitive advantage.”

Fisher Communications TV Revenue Flat in Q1

Fisher Communications brought in $29.2 million in television revenue in the first quarter of 2012, essentially flat compared to the $29.1 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Television revenue declined due to lower national advertising revenue in the pharmaceutical, financial services and tourism categories, according to the company. The decline was balanced by increases in retail and automotive categories.

“We believe Fisher remains well positioned for strong station performance and audience share growth,” president and CEO Colleen Brown said in a statement. “These are the fundamentals that differentiate Fisher from its competitors and will continue to make the Company a leader in redefining the future of local media.” Read more

Fisher Reports 9% Increase in Core Advertising

Fisher Communications today announced financial results for the fourth quarter of 2011 as well as for the full-year.  The Seattle-based station group emphasized notable growth in core advertising, excluding political.

Making a point not to include the effect of a cyclical decrease in political advertising in announcing its financial results, Fisher reported a 9% increase in net TV revenue, excluding political, for the fourth quarter and an 8% increase in net TV revenue, again excluding political, for the full-year.

Fisher saw a 14% increase in retrans revenue for the fourth quarter as well as a 19% increase in automotive advertising during the period, compared to the final three months of 2010. Read more

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