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Posts Tagged ‘Granite Broadcasting’

Granite Broadcasting to Launch OTA Broadcast Service for Tablets

tablet tv_304Granite Broadcasting and Motive Television have teamed up to bring over the air TV to tablets.

The new venture, called Tablet Television, will launch as a beta test at Granite’s San Francisco Bay Area station KOFY this summer with a full launch planned in the fall.

According to the press release, “This first broadcast TV service for tablets will enable viewers to watch and record live broadcast content in high definition in every market in the U.S. and, in association with local broadcasting partners, will be able to provide on-demand packages. Additional features such as fully-integrated social television will be available to Internet connected viewers.”

Granite chairman Peter Markham said in a statement, “It is a broadcaster friendly offering that requires no capital investment and enhances local broadcaster’s business models by extending their brand and content, leveraging their existing digital distribution network, and creating new revenue opportunities.”

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Scripps Talking to Granite About Buying Two Stations

scripps logo_304x200The E.W. Scripps Company has announced it’s in talks with Granite Broadcasting about the possibility buying two Granite stations.

A Scripps press release said, “No deal has been made with Granite, but Scripps will follow up with another announcement once the outcome is determined.”

In December, TVSpy reported about Scripps executives touring Granite’s Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW. At the time Buffalo Business First said “The tour, insiders say, was just that — a tour” while WKBW GM Michael Nurse told TVSpy he had no comment over rumors his station was up for sale.

WKBW Won’t Comment on Rumor of Possible Sale

wkbw logoMichael Nurse, WKBW station manager, told TVSpy his company had no comment at this this time over rumors the station is up for sale.

Buffalo Business First reported the whispering over the sale of the Granite owned Buffalo ABC station grew louder after reports of a station tour by Scripps executives surfaced recently but warned, “The tour, insiders say, was just that — a tour.”

Business First quotes industry reports as saying several media groups are looking at Granite’s local stations including the Buffalo ABC affiliate. “Granite officials declined to comment,” wrote Business First.

Granite Broadcasting has eight stations in markets like Binghamton, NY, Detroit, MI, and San Francisco, CA.

Indiana Fox-Affiliate Gives Up on Winless Colts, Decides Not to Broadcast Game

As the Indianapolis Colts’ nightmare season wears on, one Indiana station recently decided that it had seen enough.

WISE, the Fox-affiliate in Fort Wayne, chose not to air the Colts’ game this past Sunday, opting to broadcast the Chicago Bears instead.

“The buck stops with me,” Jerry Giesler, president and general manager of Granite Broadcasting’s Fort Wayne stations, told The Journal Gazette. “We talked a lot about it internally. Of course, the year in, year out logical choice would be the Colts. Absolutely, no question. The reason we went with the Bears was to follow the compelling story, their [playoff] hopes alive, a new quarterback.” Read more

WEEK Staffers Wear All-Black On-Air, Protesting Dismissal of Longtime Anchor

Following the abrupt dismissal of longtime anchor Mike Dimmick, staffers at WEEK–including on-air talent–dressed in black on Friday as a show of solidarity.

“It is a sad day when a 29-year employee and broadcast veteran is denied an opportunity to have a respectable send off,” WEEK anchor Garry Moore, and president of the local chapter of AFTRA, told TVSpy via email. “Management called a couple of people upstairs and told them that Wednesday was his last day. It was supposed to be September 16th. Essentially, they’re paying him to stay home.” Read more

Nexstar Files Antitrust Suit Against Granite

Nexstar Broadcasting filed an antitrust lawsuit today against Granite Broadcasting, claiming the company is monopolizing local television sales in Fort Wayne, IN.

According to Nexstar, Granite will control the local advertising sales for the market stations affiliated with Fox, NBC, ABC, TheCW and MyNetworkTV. The lawsuit was apparently filed in reaction to Granite’s WISE, which is named in the suit, securing the Fox affiliation in Fort Wayne.

Fox was formerly affiliated with Nexstar-owned WFFT, but could not come to an agreement with Nexstar over retransmision fees. WFFT will become an independent station next month. Nexstar is asking that Granite be forced to give up at least one of its “big four” network affiliations.

“Granite’s actions to monopolize advertising sales in Fort Wayne will allow it to raise advertising rates to local businesses that are dependent on a fair and competitive television network marketplace,” Nexstar said in a statement. “The increased advertising rates will likely drive increases in the prices of goods and services for consumers as well.”

Labor Dispute Escalates at Peoria’s WEEK-WHOI

Staff at Peoria’s WEEK-WHOI have been working without a formal labor deal since February and, after rejecting Granite Broadcasting’s “final offer” in April, they are now enlisting the support of the local community.

At issue in WEEK-WHOI’s dispute with Granite and Silver Point Capital, Granite’s largest investor, is the company’s unwillingness to ensure that local news will in fact stay local. Other Granite stations have been asked to outsource some of their news production, including weather, and WEEK-WHOI want to make sure that all of the local news they air is produced within their market.

At the end of April, following the rejection of Granite’s so-called “final offer,” WEEK-WHOI organized a rally at the station and invited members of the community to participate. And now WEEK-WHOI staffers, with support from AFTRA, are distributing flyers and asking local residents to sign a petition. Read more

WEEK-WHOI Staffers Reject ‘Final’ Labor Offer

AFTRA’s local Peoria chapter has resoundingly rejected Granite Broadcasting‘s “last, best, and final” labor offer to employees of WEEK-WHOI.

Since February, staffers at the Central Illinois NBC-ABC-CW outpost have been working without a formal labor deal and, according to the Peoria Journal Star, AFTRA representatives voted 27 to 1 on Friday to reject the so-called “final” proposal submitted by Granite at the end of March.

While anchors, reporters, photojournalists, producers, and other WEEK-WHOI staffers continued to work without a deal in place, the union authorized anchor Garry Moore, the local union president, to call a strike.

Moore, who has not been immediately available for comment today, told the Star yesterday that some type of job action was possible. AFTRA plans to hold a public rally at the WEEK-WHOI studios on Wednesday to emphasize the impact local news has in the community.

In Peoria, WEEK-WHOI Considers Granite’s ‘Final’ Labor Offer

Union officials representing employees of WEEK-WHOI in central Illinois returned to the bargaining table this week and are now reviewing a new proposal from Granite Broadcasting that the stations’ parent company says is its “last, best, and final offer.”

Anchors, reporters, photojournalists, and producers at WEEK-WHOI, a NBC- and an ABC-affiliate licensed to Peoria, have been working without a labor contract since February 18th, when the previous deal expired.

A major sticking point in the negotiations between Granite and the local chapter of AFTRA is language surrounding the jurisdiction of local news production. Previous offers have included language that would allow Granite to farm out local news content, something that WEEK-WHOI staffers vehemently oppose. Read more

AFTRA Authorizes WEEK-WHOI Staffers to Strike as Station Considers Outside News Production

Anchors, reporters, photojournalists, and producers at WEEK-WHOI in central Illinois have been working for the past two weeks without a formal labor contract and now members of the stations’ news team are going on record about the ongoing negotiations between their union and Granite Broadcasting, the stations’ parent company.

At the center of the dispute, according to WEEK-WHOI employees, is Granite’s desire to use news content produced outside of the market.

“We believe local news should be local,” anchor Gina Morss told the Peoria Journal Star.

The union contract covering members of the WEEK-WHOI news team expired on February 18th and AFTRA is set to meet with Granite for a bargaining session on March 21st.  In the meantime, the union has authorized anchor Garry Moore, the local union president, to call a strike. Read more