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Posts Tagged ‘local TV’

Pew Report: Total Value of Station Acquisitions Hits 7-Year High

In the annual State of the News Media report, Pew Research Center finds local television station sales in 2013 were up 205% compared to 2012. Nearly 300 stations were sold last year for a total of $8.8 billion, a 367% increase in total value compared to the previous year.

pew report local tv acquisitions

Sinclair led the way among station groups, purchasing 63 stations in 2013. Gannett purchased Belo, adding 20 stations, and Tribune Co. acquired Local TV, expanding its portfolio by 19 stations. The total value of local television acquisitions in 2013 was the highest it has been since 2006.

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FCC OKs Tribune’s $2.735 Billion Buy of Local TV

tribune_304In addition to approving Gannett’s purchase of Belo, The FCC also gave the OK for Tribune Company to assume control of broadcast licenses held by subsidiaries of Local TV Holdings paving the way for Tribune to acquire 19 of Local TV’s stations in 16 markets.

“On behalf of thousands of Tribune and Local TV employees across the country, I want to thank the Commission for reaching this decision; we are extremely pleased to move forward with the transaction,” Peter Liguori, Tribune’s President and CEO said in a statement.

As part of the deal, the licenses of WNEP in Wilkes-Barre, PA, WTKR and WGNT in Norfolk, VA, will be will be transferred to Dreamcatcher Broadcasting, LLC, which is owned by Ed Wilson former president of Tribune Broadcasting.

The deal creates the largest combined independent broadcast group and content creator in the US.

Tribune included a handy map of its local TV properties on its website. You can see it after the jump. Read more

Tribune to Buy Local TV for $2.725 Billion

The Tribune Company, along with Local TV Holdings, LLC, have announced they’ve entered into a definitive agreement for Tribune to buy all of Local TV’s 19 stations for $2.725 Billion in cash.

“This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune—it makes us the #1 local TV affiliate group in America, expands the distribution platform for our high-quality video content, and extends the reach of our digital products to new audiences across the country,” said Peter Ligouri, Tribune’s president and CEO. “We couldn’t be more excited about Tribune’s future as America’s leader in creating and distributing original content and local news programming.”

The buy will give Tribune 42 stations across the US including FOX affiliate KDVR in Denver, CO, and ABC affiliate WNEP in Scranton-Wilkes Barre, PA. Local TV had been operating Tribune’s CW affiliates in Denver (KWGN) and St. Louis, MO, (KPLR).

“My management team will dearly miss working with some of the most talented and dedicated people in broadcasting, but we know we leave our employees in good hands,” said Bobby Lawrence, Chief Executive Officer of Local TV. “I am grateful to our partners at Oak Hill Capital, who acquired the finest stations in the industry and helped us build this great company.”

The sale is expected to close by the end of 2013 pending FCC approval.

New Orleans Study: Without Newspaper Residents Choose TV

It looks like local TV News will be the big winner when the New Orleans Times-Picayune reduces its daily run to three days a week.

According to a study conducted by the Louisiana State University Public Policy Research Lab, when local residents were asked where they’d get their news fix when there’s no newspaper available, 76 percent chose local TV.

Only 40 percent stuck with the paper as their main source according to the study — our math isn’t bad — the survey allowed multiple responses.

Read more

Investors Betting on Small Stations in Large Markets

While some small TV stations in larger markets are struggling to make a buck off what they broadcast, recently investors have been snatching them up for how they broadcast.

Investors are buying up small stations in anticipation of what the FCC is calling incentive auctions, where broadcasters auction off their airwaves in an effort to free up much needed spectrum for mobile broadband.  The speculators are hoping companies, such as wireless phone carriers looking to meet increasing demand for their services, would pay a hefty price for the added airwaves.

The Wall Street Journal says the gamble is not yet a sure thing:

Much about the auction remains uncertain, however, including the timing. The agency plans to publish its proposed rules for the process sometime this fall, and industry observers say the auction could begin as early as 2014. But the FCC has until September 2022 to conduct the sale and license the airwaves to wireless companies.

Read more

KDVR News Director on Decision to Air KUSA Dog Bite Footage: ‘The Other Stations are Wimps’

Shortly after a dog bit KUSA anchor Kyle Dyer on-air last week, the station’s news director, Patti Dennis, called up every news director in Denver and implored them not to air footage of the bite.

Dennis told TVSpy last week that she urged her fellow news directors to “show respect” because the video was “traumatic to people at KUSA.”

Despite Dennis’s pleading, one news director, KDVR‘s Ed Kosowski, decided to go ahead and air the footage. Read more

Rebranding as ‘Freedom 43,’ Oklahoma City’s KAUT Targets Conservative Viewers

Oklahoma City’s KAUT is undergoing an aggressive rebranding effort to appeal to the more than 50,000 active and reserve military personnel in Oklahoma.  Next month, KAUT (channel 43), a MyNetworkTV-affiliate which airs a two-hour morning newscast in addition to a half-hour nightly newscast at 9 p.m., will relaunch as “Freedom 43.”

“For the first, a TV station is aiming its news focus not at a particular demographic, age group, or gender,” boasts Jim Boyer, KAUT’s president and general manager, “but at an audience bound by social connections and shared values.”

“Freedom 43 TV is for all Oklahomans who believe in faith, freedom, and patriotism,” Boyer said, in announcing the brand makeover.

KAUT’s new identity appears to be in line with that of Fox News, with programming based on a specific worldview and meant to draw a conservative audience. Read more

Study Reveals Good News About State of Local TV

The Project For Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) has released a thorough report on how local TV performed in 2010 and, for a change, it’s filled with plenty of good news. Revenue was up, audience declines slowed (chart above), and, according to the report, local stations “remain Americans’ No.1 television news choice.”

Here are some key findings:

  • Audience: While local TV viewership has declined in the past several years, the audience numbers remained nearly flat in 2010.
  • Revenue: Local TV stations saw a 17% increase in ad revenue.
  • Retrans: The fees brought in from carriage agreements is projected to have topped $1 billion.
  • News programming: The average number of hours of local news programming that stations provide continues to increase.
  • Independent stations: News viewership for non-affiliate stations was up 35%.

[Full report here]