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Posts Tagged ‘Fisher Communications’

KVAL Anchor to Take Over KCBY Evening News

The KCBY evening news will be anchored by David Walker from the KVAL studios, beginning March 12th, as longtime KCBY reporter and anchor Tim Novotny departs the station.

Both KCBY and KVAL are owned by Fisher Communications.  KVAL is a CBS-affiliate based in Eugene, and KCBY operates as a satellite station in Coos Bay.

Walker was the news director at KCBY before becoming an anchor at KVAL in 1999.  Novotny succeeded Walker as KCBY’s news director and has anchored the station’s local news for the past decade. Read more

Fisher Finalizes Sale of Seattle Headquarters

Fisher Communications has completed the sale of Fisher Plaza, the Seattle building that serves as the company’s headquarters and houses ABC-affiliate KOMO.

Fisher will remain the building’s largest tenant under the new owners, Hines Global REIT, Inc., who purchased the building for $160 million in cash.  The $160 million figure is 30% more than the building was valued at a year ago.

Fisher has been considering a sale of Fisher Plaza, which was built in 2001  and has served as the exterior for the hospital on “Grey’s Anatomy,” since 2008.  Negotiations began ramping up in March and a deal with Hines Global REIT was struck last month.

Fisher now has a 12-year lease in the building.

Fisher Communications Adds Pulp to KATU Website

Fisher Communications is expanding Pulp, its local culture brand, to Portland.

Earlier this summer, Fisher launched Seattle Pulp as a complement to KOMO‘s web presence and now the company is doing the same for KATU, its Portland station.

“The content created by Portland Pulp writers will reflect how diverse and original this city is,” Pulp editor Shane Mehling said.  “Portlanders know they live in a truly unique place, and we plan to complement that by showing them hotspots and happenings they never knew existed that emphasize what makes Portland truly great.”

Fisher expects Portland Pulp to raise KATU’s profile among the 18-49 demographic.

Fisher Sees Strong Internet Growth in Flat Q2

Seattle-based Fisher Communications reported this week that second quarter net revenue for its television division was flat at $30.9 million.

Fisher, which owns 13 full-power and 7 low-power stations throughout the Northwest including KOMO in Seattle, announced that a decrease in automotive advertising revenue was made up for by an overall increase in core advertising as well as a small boost in retrans revenue.

Excluding political advertising, net revenue for Fisher’s TV stations was up 4% in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year.

Over the last couple of years, Fisher has been expanding its web media holdings through a network of hyper-local sites as well as the recently launched Seattle Pulp culture site and the company is celebrating positive returns from these investments. For the second quarter, internet revenue increased 66% to $1.4 million.

Fisher Debuts Local Culture Site with KOMO

Fisher Communications, an early investor in the promise of hyperlocal news, this week announced the launch of a new local lifestyle website catering to the 18-49 demographic.

Seattle Pulp will work alongside the website of KOMO, Fisher’s Seattle ABC-affiliate, to provide news and reviews on local culture, technology, and entertainment with a regular “Best Of” the city feature.

“With a more urban, witty and fun voice, Seattle Pulp is aimed at enhancing and complementing the current KOMOnews.com user experience,” Fisher explained in a press release.

Seattle Pulp has assembled a diverse team of local contributors, many of whom have a certain cult status in the area, including Phoenix Jones, an amateur superhero who became an internet celebrity earlier this year. Read more

Fisher Communications Staves Off Board Takeover

Fisher Communications has staved off an insurrection on its board.

The company, which owns 20 stations in 10 western markets, announced the final voting results from its recent shareholders’ meeting and a dissident group of investors, backed by the hedge fund FrontFour Capital, was unable to gain enough seats to be able to impose their will on the future of the company.

In April, Fisher was so concerned about a potential takeover that it issued a press release warning that FrontFour, whose co-founder and portfolio manager David Lorber has a seat on the company’s board, was attempting to gain enough board seats so that it could initiate a quick sale of the 100-year-old company.

At the time, Fisher warned that the FrontFour-led group is only “focused on reaping a significant short-term gain.”

Announcing its new batch of board-members this week, Fisher said, “We remain committed to building long-term value for all of our shareholders.”

Amid Criticism from Investors, Fisher Reports Solid First Quarter Results

Fisher Communications, which has recently been fending off a takeover bid by a group of dissident investors, today reported a solid financial showing in the first quarter.

The Seattle-based company announced that its net TV revenue increased by 9.5%. Excluding political revenue, Fisher saw a 12.3% boost in the quarter, compared to the same period last year.

“Fisher’s successful execution of its strategic plan has continued our business growth by improving ratings, growing revenue share and adding new advertising categories and local solutions,” announced Fisher president and CEO Colleen Brown, who has lately been criticized by investors for her management of the company. Read more

Fisher Defends Against Hedge Fund Takeover, Potential Sale

There is a nasty fight brewing among Fisher Communications investors as the company appears to be on the brink of being sold.

Officials at Fisher, which owns 20 stations along the west coast including Seattle’s KOMO, sent a letter to shareholders this week urging them to reject the advances of a key investor.  According to the letter, FrontFour Capital Group, whose co-founder and portfolio manager David Lorber currently sits on the Fisher board, is attempting to elbow its way to more seats on the board so that the hedge fund can orchestrate a quick sale of the company.

Pointing out that 90% of FrontFour’s shares have been purchased since last May, Fisher officials stated that the investment group “has not been a long-term significant Fisher shareholder. Instead, it is a hedge fund that is focused on reaping a significant short-term gain.”

Lorber recently submitted a slate of four hand-picked nominees for election to Fisher’s board of directors. Company officials worry that if Lorber’s nominees are elected, FrontFour will gain a dangerous amount of sway over the future of Fisher.

Fisher Communications Considers Sale of Seattle HQ

Fisher Communications, which operates 20 stations in 10 markets along the west coast, is considering selling its headquarters near downtown Seattle (right).

The 300,000-square-foot complex is located across the street from the city’s iconic Space Neadle. According to Bloomberg, the building was recently valued at $106 million.

Fisher announced in a statement this week that it was partnering with Moelis & Company, LLC, a financial advisor, to investigate a potential sale of the building.

The complex was built in 2001 when the Seattle real estate market was still riding high from the internet boom. Fisher considered selling the building in 2008 but withdrew once the recession hit. Now, with the real estate market showing signs of recovery, Fisher Plaza is again up for sale.

Earlier this year, Fisher turned down a takeover bid of $211 million from a Canadian real estate company.

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