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Posts Tagged ‘Sinclair Broadcast Group’

Sinclair Launches Original Programming Division

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group is going to start producing original programming.

The station group announced it’s launching the SOP, or Sinclair Original Programming division which will create and develop entertainment content as well as infomercials and direct response commercials. Sinclair said the content will initially be developed for its CW and MyTV affiliates and will run during prime time and weekend afternoons.

The division will be led by Arthur Hasson who is being named COO of Sinclair Original Programming. Hasson will continue to work as GM of WHP, Sinclair’s Harrisburg, PA, CBS and MyNet affiliate and CW affiliate WLYH.

By developing original content in connection with talented program producers, we can provide cost effective, flexible projects that can be readily monetized,” Hasson said in a statement. “In addition, we believe there is potential to distribute shows beyond our platforms both domestically and internationally. From the creative side, our large footprint of stations allows us to test concepts and talent efficiently.”

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It’s Trading Day! Five Station Groups Buy and Sell Ten Stations

station groups cropped

Five station groups have undertaken a station swap similar to what happens at the trading deadline in professional sports. This time, though, the moves affect hundreds of people.

Media General and LIN Media, looking to comply with Federal regulations over ownership rules have initiated a TV station swap involving Sinclair Broadcast, Meredith and Hearst Corporation.

Here’s the breakdown:

Sinclair will buy from Media General: Providence NBC affiliate WJAR

Sinclair will buy from LIN Media: Green Bay FOX affiliate WLUK, Green Bay CW affiliate WCWF and certain assets of Savannah, GA, FOX affiliate WTGS and the rights to acquire the principal assets of WTGS, which is operated by LIN but owned by WTGS Television, LLC.

Media General will buy from Sinclair: Tampa, FL, MyTV affiliate WTTA, creating a duopoly since they already own NBC affiliate WFLA, and Colorado Springs stations KXRM (FOX) and KXTU (CW).

Media General will sell to Hearst: Birmingham, AL NBC affiliate WVTM.

LIN Media will sell to Hearst: Savannah, GA ABC affiliate WJCL.

Meredith will buy from LIN Media: Mobile-Pensacola FOX affiliate WALA. Read more

Sinclair Names GM of WICS

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Rick Lipps GM of Springfield-Decatur, IL, ABC affiliate WICS.

Lipps will also oversee sales and “other non-programming related services” of FOX affiliate WRSP and CW affiliate WBUI in accordance with joint sales and shared services agreements.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for which I am thrilled,” Lipps said in a statement. “The Springfield/Decatur area is a dynamic market with a growing diverse revenue base. Providing the best local news and entertainment for our viewers has been and will continue to be our top priority.”

Since 2007, Lipps has been the group leader for stations in Savannah and Augusta, GA, as well as serving as GM of WCBD in Charleston, SC. Lipps has also worked as GM of WNWO in Toledo, OH, WTNZ in Knoxville, TN, and KWWL in Waterloo, IA.

FCC Approves Sinclair’s Allbritton Buy

sinclair_304The FCC has approved Sinclair Broadcast Group’s purchase of Allbritton Communications.

The sixteen page document released by the FCC also denied several petitions against the merger.

>UPDATE: William Lake, chief of the FCC Media Bureau released a statement outlining the terms of the deal. Which he wrote was approved “after the parties agreed to amend the proposal in three markets to comply with our ownership rules:

Consistent with DOJ review, Sinclair will divest the station in the Harrisburg market.

To comply with our local TV ownership rule, Sinclair will deliver the programming of stations in the Birmingham and Charleston markets via digital multicasting. This means that Sinclair will put the full programming of the stations on the digital signal of the stations it already owns. The licenses of the Allbritton stations that previously broadcast that programming will therefore be returned to the Commission. Most importantly, consumers will lose no programming currently available to them. Read more

Sinclair Announces Funding for Allbritton Purchase

sinclair_allbrittonSinclair Broadcast Group announced it has lined up the funding to buy Allbritton Communications.

In a press release, the station group announced Sinclair Television Group, a subsidiary, has closed its private offering of $550 million worth of senior unsecured notes due in 2024. Sinclair said it plans to use the money from the funds along with $400 million in loans, a revolving credit line and cash to pay for the deal.

Last July, Sinclair announced it was buying Allbritton for $985 million.

The station group reportedly cleared the last hurdle blocking approval of the deal last week by agreeing to a settlement with the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. As part of the deal, Sinclair agreed to sell Harrisburg, PA, ABC affiliate WHTM as soon as the purchase goes through.

Sinclair Launches College Sports Network

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group announced today it’s getting into the sports programming game by launching a collegiate sports initiative called the American Sports Network.

The network plans to air its programming on Sinclair’s CW and MyNet stations and has deals with Division I conferences like Conference USA, the Colonial Athletic Association, Big South Conference, Southern Conference and Patriot League.

The initiative, headed up by Doron Gorshein, CEO of Sinclair Networks, will air live football, basketball, soccer and other games. The station group also added, “the Company’s plans may include potential development of new cable networks and digital platforms focused on these new content initiatives” if it can secure carriage agreements with distributors.

“This is another example of our foray into the content creation business,” David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair said in a statement. “The launch of ASN will provide important and valuable content that is directed at serving our local communities, while improving the value of our CW and MyNet affiliates. We are confident in Doron’s ability to lead this endeavor, given his acumen in this arena.”

Sinclair Reportedly Clears Last Hurdle Before Closing Deal for Allbritton

sinclair_304The Wall Street Journal reports Sinclair Broadcast Group is moving closer to sealing its deal for Allbritton Communications by settling a lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

The DOJ thought Sinclair’s purchase of ABC affiliate WHTM in a market where it already owns CBS affiliate WHP and CW affiliate WLYH would affect the cost of advertising in the market.

Last month Sinclair agreed to sell the station to Media General when the Allbritton deal is finalized.

“The rivalry between the stations has helped to constrain advertising rates, and without the divestiture, advertisers on stations in this area would likely have paid higher prices,” said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.

The settlement comes less than two weeks before a one-year clock will run out for Sinclair to get regulatory approval for its Allbritton deal. If approval isn’t reached in time, Sinclair has said the deal may not close.

The settlement will “pave the way in fact for a DOJ approval,” wrote Evercore analyst Doug Arthur. “Next stop: the FCC,” referring to the Federal Communications Commission. Read more

Seven Months Later, Sinclair’s WNWO Back on Buckeye Cable

sinclair_buckeyeThe seven month long retrans dispute between Block Communications owned Buckeye Cable and Sinclair owned Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO has been resolved.

At times, the tensions in the dispute went public with Buckeye depicting Sinclair as the Grinch in an ad in Block owned newspaper, The Blade. Sinclair countered by calling Buckeye’s tactics “juvenile” and “silly antics.”

Sinclair released a statement that said in part, “In addition to customary terms and conditions, the agreement provides for Buckeye to pay a signing bonus to WNWO-TV, which is in an amount that more than covers the legal fees incurred as a result of a complaint filed by Buckeye at the Federal Communications Commission alleging that Sinclair had failed to negotiate in good faith.”

While The Blade reported, “Both parties also agreed to withdraw the complaints they had filed against each other with the FCC.”

Sharyl Attkisson to Work as Investigative Reporter for Sinclair

SharylAttkissonFormer CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson will work for Sinclair Broadcasting as an independent freelance investigative reporter.

Attkisson quit CBS in March. At the time, Politico’s Dylan Byers reported Attkisson “had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said.”

In an email obtained by FTVLive, which first reported the story, Scott Livingston head of news for Sinclair wrote, “Sharyl will focus on stories that follow the money and waste watch type of investigations.” Waste Watch is a Sinclair investigative franchise.

Livingston told TVSpy Attkisson would file one to two pieces a month starting next week and that all Sinclair stations would be strongly encouraged to run them. He added, Attkisson “fits with our commitment to tracking the truth and being our advocate for the taxpayer.”

Q1 Earnings: Sinclair Broadcast Revenues Up 48%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported $373.9 million in net broadcast revenues for the first quarter of 2014, a 47.8% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $81 million, up 27.2% from the prior year period. Political revenues were $6.1 million compared to $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2013. Sinclair reports $8.2 million in revenues generated by the Super Bowl, and $3.7 million in revenues generated by the Sochi Olympics.

“There were many positives in the first quarter that reflect our solid underlying fundamentals, despite the slower than usual start to the year due to the impact of the severe and frigid weather in many of our markets,” Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “The first quarter benefited from incremental Super Bowl, Olympic and retransmission consent fee revenues, while political revenues exceeded expectations. We also benefited from lower television operating expenses across many of our stations. Our main focus now is on closing the Allbritton station acquisition and lobbying to reform broadcast ownership regulatory inequality.”

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