The station arm of 21st Century Fox is sniffing around acquisition targets in several major markets, including Seattle, St. Louis and San Francisco. The push is part of a larger strategy to add to its station holdings in NFL markets, particularly markets with NFC teams, the conference for which Fox has a TV rights package. Fox at present has O&Os in 11 of the 16 NFC markets.
Industry sources say Fox is actively looking at stations in the Seattle market. [sic] where Tribune owns the existing Fox affiliate, KCPQ-TV. There’s speculation that Fox has its eye on Cox Enterprises-owned KIRO-TV, a CBS affiliate. But sources cautioned that Fox is “turning over a lot of rocks” right now in the market and hasn’t zeroed in on a specific acquisition target.
Posts Tagged ‘Jack Abernethy’
In a presentation to 21st Century Fox investors today, Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said the station group is “retiring the typical anchorman and replacing him with multi-skilled personalities and journalists” as part of a push to evolve the local news model.
Abernethy said the financial success of local news over the last four decades has “made the news business very resistant to change and innovation and stagnant in style and form,” but said the Fox owned stations are evolving in a number of ways, including replacing the traditional anchor and newscast models and using technology and social media more effectively.
Abernethy also cited “Chasing New Jersey” as an example, saying the launch of the WWOR show — which replaced the station’s only newscast — was because it’s “easier to start from scratch at times than waiting to evolve.”
“It replaces a traditional newscast, uses new technology in a fast-paced, cost-effective environment that can best be described as TMZ for local news,” Abernethy said. “We are located in Trenton, the state capital, and we are fortunate to be focusing on Jersey at a great time with Chris Christie and Cory Booker in the national spotlight.”
Abernethy also said the company continues to look for opportunities to acquire new stations, echoing an industry-wide trend. He noted Fox’s recent purchase of a duopoly in Charlotte as an example of the purchase of “under-performing stations that are accretive.”
“This investment will pay for itself in less than two years as a result of our ability to operate highly successful stations and the bottom-line impact of retrans,” he said.
It is a return to D.C. for the longtime Fox executive, who worked at WTTG-WDCA as vice president and general sales manager earlier in his career. He has also been VP-GM for WTXF in Philadelphia and VP and director of sales for WNYW-WWOR in New York City. Most recently, he was senior vice president of Fox Station Sales.
“Patrick has done a stellar job in leading our FSS sales team. His past success as a General Manager make him the ideal choice as we look to grow WTTG’s position in the DC market,” Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement.
The full press release from Fox is after the jump. Read more
Duffy Dyer, the vice president and general manager of WTTG-WDCA in Washington, D.C., has announced his retirement. Dyer has worked as the duopoly’s VP-GM for 12 years and for the Fox Television Station group for more than 20 years.
“Duffy has been invaluable to FTS over the last 26 years. We want to thank him for his leadership and unmatched dedication,” Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy told TVSpy in a statement. “He will be truly missed.”
A replacement has yet to be named for Duffy, who will continue to work at WTTG through the summer.
Adams has been president and general manager of WGHP, the Fox affiliate in Greensboro, N.C., for the past 16 years. WGHP was a Fox O&O from 1996-2008.
“Karen has managed one of the most successful stations in the country. I couldn’t be happier to welcome her back,” Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement.
Before being promoted to general manager, Adams held several other positions at WGHP, including VP of programming and VP of creative services and community involvement. Her first job at the station was as a camera operator.
“This is such a unique and exciting opportunity to run WJZY AND WMYT for FOX in Charlotte,” Adams said in a statement. “North Carolina is my home and I look forward to rejoining my FOX Television Station colleagues.”
“We are delighted to expand our portfolio of stations and return to North Carolina,” Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement. “WJZY and WMYT are both well run stations that provide us with a unique opportunity in a growing top-25 market.”
Broadcasting & Cable reports that no terms of the sale, which is pending FCC approval, were divulged. But an affiliation switch is likely now that Fox will own two stations in the market. Current Fox affiliate WCCB is owned by Bahakel communications.
>Update: TVNewsCheck reports WCCB will lose its Fox affiliation. “Obviously we’re disappointed with the news,” Bahakel EVP Jim Babb said. “But we’re determined to find a way to be successful going forward, and we’re already exploring various options.”
Allyson Meyers has been named vice president and general manager of WOFL, the Fox O&O in Orlando.
In her new role, Meyers will oversee WOFL as well as WRBW, the MyNetworkTV affiliate in Orlando, and WOGX, the Fox affiliate in Ocala. She begins at the stations on January 17.
“Allyson’s tenure with FOX has proven she has what it takes to think differently, produce results and be an effective leader. I am confident she is the ideal person to take on this expanded role within our group and lead these stations,” Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement.
Meyers moves to Orlando from Philadelphia, where she is the vice president and general sales manager for Fox O&O WTXF. She replaces Dennis Welsh, who recently took over as VP-GM of WFLD, the Fox O&O in Chicago.
- Related, TVNewser: ‘Good Morning America’ Inducted Into B&C Hall of Fame
Abernethy was one of 12 inductees. Alan Frank, the president and CEO of the Post-Newsweek Stations, was also honored at the event.
Welsh is a longtime Fox executive who has been general manager of WOFL-WOGX, the Fox-owned stations in Orlando, since 2010. He replaces Mike Renda, who has been named general manager of WJBK in Detroit.
After announcing Renda’s appointment in Detroit Friday morning, Renda returned to Chicago with Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy. The pair are announcing Welsh’s WFLD appointment to members of the station at 2:30pmET/1:30CT and are expected to address the newsroom later this afternoon.
“It’s a privilege to join a FOX duopoly that is home to top-rated syndicated brands, the Chicago Bears and an aggressive news team,” Welsh said in a statement. “The station has accomplished a great deal over the last few years but there is still much we can achieve and I can’t wait to get started.”
Before working in Orlando, Welsh spent eight years as vice president and director of sales for Dallas Fox O&O KDFW. He has also worked as vice president and director of sales for Fox Station Sales in New York and as VP-GM of WJW in Cleveland, which was owned by Fox when he worked there.
“Dennis brings an impressive range of sales and local news experience,” Abernethy said. “He has done a tremendous job in Orlando and I am confident his leadership will elevate FOX Chicago to the next level.”
Welsh will begin at WFLD on January 7. The release from Fox is after the jump. Read more
Renda and Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy are announcing the news to the WJBK newsroom at 9:30amET. The pair are expected to travel to Chicago later today to announce who will succeed Renda at WFLD.
“I feel honored to have the opportunity to lead the #1 station in Detroit, known for its edgy, unconventional and hard-hitting news product,” Renda said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing the station’s legacy of serving Detroit.”
“Mike has proven his great leadership abilities at three FOX-owned stations over a fifteen-year tenure,” Abernethy said in a statement. “Regardless of the roles he’s held, he always inspires his team to be better, work smarter and think differently. There is no person better qualified to take charge of our premier Detroit station than him.”
Read the full release from Fox after the jump. Read more