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Posts Tagged ‘Gannett Co.’

Little Rock Sports Anchor Sues Gannett for Discrimination

edwards kthvMark C. Nelson, known on-air as Mark Edwards, is suing Gannett Co. and Little Rock CBS affiliate KTHV for discrimination.

According to the lawsuit posted on Courthouse News Service, Gannett, “has a corporate custom, policy, pattern, practice and procedure of not promoting African-Americans to director and leadership positions and utilizing a ‘one-and-done policy’ that disparately impacts African-American employed within the company.”

Edwards says Gannett manipulated focus groups and used “other means and methods” to “achieve its discriminatory goals and objectives.”

Edwards’ bio has been removed from the KTHV website.

The sports anchor said he started at KTHV in 2003 editing and doing production as the “number three” sports guy. When he had the opportunity to leave for an on-air job in Cleveland, Edwards said GM Larry Audas asked him to stay and promised him a promotion and that he would be on a “fast track” to the sports director position.

The complaint continues: “After remaining in employment for several years with the defendant, in approximately May 2012, Wes Moore, a white sports anchor and director, left Channel 11. Plaintiff was in an optimum position to take over as the anchor and sports director with the attendant advertising, marketing, promotion and raise-in-pay that accompanies such advancement within the company. However, rather than offer this opportunity to plaintiff, instead, Channel 11 hired a white male with less sports broadcasting experience from another station in July-August of 2012. For reasons never explained to plaintiff, defendant did not provide plaintiff with an offer to be promoted, marketed or further advanced with the defendant as sports director, or anchor as was promised and represented by him.” Read more

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Gannett Completes Belo Acquisition

gannett belo logos_304x200The Gannett-Belo merger is complete: Gannett Co. has officially acquired Belo Corp. for $13.75 per share in cash, plus $715 million of outstanding debt, for a total of $2.2 billion.

“We are thrilled to combine these two storied media companies, both of which are known for award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “The completion of this transaction marks a significant milestone in Gannett’s ongoing transformation into a higher-margin and more highly diversified company in the rapidly evolving media business.”

Earlier today, Gannett announced it would sell three stations — KMOV in St. Louis and KTVK-KSAW in Phoenix — to Meredith Corp. for $407.5 million. The sale of KMOV was required by the Department of Justice before the Gannett-Belo deal could close.

The acquisition of Belo’s 20 stations nearly doubles Gannett’s broadcast portfolio, bringing the company’s reach to approximately one-third of all television households in America. Gannett becomes the #1 CBS affiliate group as well as expanding its already #1 NBC affiliate group.

As of today, Belo will no longer be listed on the NYSE.

Q3 Earnings: Gannett Broadcast Revenue Falls 14%

gannett logoGannett Co. reported $203.4 million in broadcast segment revenues for the third quarter of 2013, a 14.2% decline from the year-ago quarter. The decrease “reflects the absence of Olympic and political spending partially offset by significant growth in retransmission revenue and digital revenue growth of 20.7 percent,” according to Gannett.

Television revenues were $198.5 million, down from $233.0 million in the third quarter of 2012. Retransmission revenues were up 62.8%.

“We are also pleased that during the quarter, Belo shareholders approved the pending acquisition, and we continue to anticipate bringing the transaction to a close following the attainment of regulatory approvals,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “We are working towards a seamless integration that will accelerate our transformation and create an even stronger Gannett.”

Belo Shareholders Approve Gannett Merger

gannett belo logos_304x200Belo Corp. has announced its shareholders voted in favor of approving and adopting the merger agreement with Gannett in a special meeting yesterday.

The deal has come under fire from groups who have petitioned the FCC to deny the merger. In July, Free Press along with other organizations told the FCC in a petition the companies are trying to skirt cross-ownership rules by transferring station licenses to third party companies they called “ covert consolidation arrangements.”

The merger is also undergoing further scrutiny from the the US Department of Justice which filed a “Second Request” with the companies for more information.

Gannett announced in June it would acquire Belo for nearly $2.2 Billion. If approved, the merger would make it the fourth largest owner of major network affiliates behind CBS, FOX Broadcasting and Sinclair Broadcasting.

Gannett Q4 TV Revenue Up 46%

Gannett Co. reported $280.2 million of total television revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 45.7% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

The revenue growth was fueled by $91.2 million in politically-related advertising during the quarter. Retransmission revenues were $29.6 million, a year-over-year increase of 38.7%. Station digital revenues were up 4% compared to the year ago quarter, and for the full year, broadcasting revenue was up 25.4%.

“During the fourth quarter and for the full year, our Broadcasting business delivered
record revenue and profitability,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “Our television stations significantly increased market share this year reflecting the value of their content and format in gaining new viewers while retaining their loyal base.”

Gannett and DISH Reach Agreement

Gannett released a simple one sentence statement announcing an agreement with DISH Network this morning:

“Gannett and DISH Network have reached an agreement regarding DISH Network’s continued retransmission of Gannett stations.”

Midnight last night was the deadline before viewers in 19 cities would lose access to the Gannett owned ABC, NBC, CBS and MyNetworkTV stations on the satellite TV provider’s network.  Carriage continued into the overnight hours before an agreement was made this morning. No details of the pact have been released.

The sticking point was the use of the auto hop function known as “The Hopper,” a feature allowing viewers to skip commercials on recorded programming which could adversely affect revenue for stations.

Another Broadcaster Targets DISH’s ‘Hopper’: Gannett Threatens to Pull Programming

According to Reuters, Gannett is threatening to pull its TV stations from the DISH Network if the satellite TV provider doesn’t block the Auto Hop feature on its DVRs or pay a premium to the station group for the service.  DISH’s “Hopper” DVR with the Auto Hop feature allows viewers to skip commercials on recorded shows which may result in a loss of revenue for TV stations.

While Reuters said DISH is willing to pay Gannett more money to continue using the feature, acceding to the station group would likely hurt their business, “Gannett’s demands translate into more than a 300 percent rate increase, which would likely result in higher monthly fees for consumers.”

Both parties have until Friday to settle the dispute before DISH customers could lose ABC, CBS, NBC and MyNetworkTV programming 23 markets across the country, including Atlanta (WATL), Washington, D.C. (WUSA), Denver (KUSA), Minneapolis (KARE) and Sacramento (KXTV). You can see the complete list of Gannett stations by clicking here.

CBS is involved in a similar dispute with DISH Network, reducing the heads of both companies into what amounts to a war of words, with DISH Network CEO Joe Clayton accusing CBS chairman Les Moonves of being a bully.  Click here for a an article in the Chicago Tribune about the exchange.

[dcrtv.com]

Gannett Reports 11% Revenue Increase, Predicts Robust Future with Olympics and Politics

Gannett Co., which owns 23 stations across the country, today announced its financial results for the second quarter, reporting an 11.2% increase in television revenue for the period.

Gannett’s TV stations brought in $197.7 million during the second quarter, compared to $177.7 million for the same period last year.

The increase was sparked by climbing retrans and digital revenues.  Retrans revenue totaled $22.7 million, up 17.1% from the second quarter last year, and digital revenue increased 11.5%. Read more

Gannett Makes Up for Q3 Decline in Political Spending with Gains in Auto and Online Advertising

Gannett, which owns 23 stations across the country, experienced a slight dip in television revenues for the third quarter compared to the same period last year.  The company is attributing the decrease to a decline in political advertising.

Gannett brought in $168.8 million in TV revenues for the quarter–$10.8 million less than last year’s Q3.  Excluding an $18.4 million decrease in political advertising, though, revenues were 4.7% higher.

“The increase was due, in part, to strengthening demand for auto advertising in September,” the company stated in its press announcement this morning.

In addition to a higher demand for auto advertising in the quarter, Gannett experienced a 26.7% increase in retrans revenue and a 27.5% gain in online revenues for its stations.

Gannett’s TV Revenue Up 26%

Gannett Co. announced this morning that its fourth quarter TV revenue was up 26% over the same period in 2009.

Like Media General and Meredith Corp., Gannett saw a big boost in advertising revenue in the last quarter of 2010 due to hotly contested local elections.

Overall, Gannett’s TV revenues were $220.2 million with $52.4 of that coming from political advertising.  Non-political advertising, however, increased a respectable 1.2% in the quarter.

“Broadcasting had an outstanding year in terms of ratings, revenue, and profitability,” said Craig Dubow, chairman and CEO of Gannett, which owns stations in top markets such as Atlanta, Phoenix, Cleveland, and D.C.

“Without a doubt, Gannett today is a stronger company than it was at the beginning of 2010,” Dubow added.