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Posts Tagged ‘Tribune Co.’

WPIX Feeling Pinch from Cablevision Dispute

The Tribune Company’s battle with Cablevision over carriage fees is beginning to take its toll on Tribune owned CW affiliate WPIX, according to MediaPost.

During the approximately five-week period from Aug. 20-Sept. 23, household ratings by one metric for WPIX’s late newscast declined 42% to a 1.1 compared to a similar period last year. In the key adult 25-to-54 demo, the decline was 33% to a 0.6.

WPIX has been a no-show in roughly 3 million homes in the New York area since the dispute began in August.  You can watch a video WPIX put together and posted to their website urging viewers to pressure Cablevision to have their signal restored after the jump.

MediaPost notes while the CW network may not be pleased its programming is not being seen in the nation’s largest TV market, WPIX may be especially hurt because of the skyrocketing spending for political ads,

With its lower news ratings, WPIX might be missing out on some of the political ad dollars being spent, notably by wealthy Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon. The FCC Web site indicates that WPIX has not landed a single dollar in political spending this season.

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What Will Happen to Tribune’s TV Stations?

As Tribune Co. gets closer to (finally) exiting bankruptcy, many are wondering what will become of the company’s 23 TV stations.

Variety reports that Tribune will be staring down a difficult market if it attempts to sell its station group, which has been valued at $3 billion:

If some or all of the outlets wind up on the auction block, the timing is less than ideal, as prices have come way down in recent transactions. And the list of likely suitors for Tribune’s stations is limited by a number of factors.

Faced with a market in which it will be tough to execute a major deal, Tribune may want to hold on to its stations, which constitute the most profitable unit of the company.

Judge Rejects Tribune Bankruptcy Exit Plans

The Tribune bankruptcy saga continues.

The judge in Tribune Co’s Chapter 11 case rejected two competing plans for reorganizing the company on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times, extending the company’s three-year stay in bankruptcy.

There were two plans on the table for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin J. Carey’s consideration.  One was proposed by Tribune and a group of senior creditors, including JPMorgan Chase, and the other was proposed by hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management and a group of junior bondholders, who argue that Tribune’s proposed $500 million settlement payment is too cheap. Read more

Robert Furlong Named VP-GM at Tribune’s WPMT

Robert Furlong has been named vice president and general manager of Tribune’s WPMT, a Fox-affiliate in Harrisburg, PA.

“Bob has the talent and experience we need to achieve continued success in Harrisburg,” said Nils Larsen, Tribune Broadcasting’s CEO, in announcing the move. “He’s been successful at growing ratings and revenues against tough competition, he understands the importance of developing a strong online and mobile presence, and he knows the vital role that WPMT-TV plays in the community.”

Furlong comes to WPMT from VCI Solutions, a provider of software to the cable and broadcast TV industries, where he has served as CEO and president since last spring. Before joining VCI, Furlong held the VP-GM post at a handful of stations across the country, including KUTP in Phoenix and WCGV in Milwaukee.

“WPMT has been expanding news, growing ratings and constantly looking for new ways of serving its viewers, advertisers and the community,” Furlong said in a press release. “There is a lot of opportunity to build on this very solid foundation—-I am looking forward to leading this talented group of broadcasters.”

Tribune’s Appointment of Nils Larsen to Broadcasting CEO Leaves Many ‘Scratching Their Heads’

Tribune Co. announced a significant change to the management structure of its broadcasting operations this week, eliminating the president position held by Jerry Kersting for the past year and appointing Nils Larsen (right), the current executive chairman of broadcasting, to CEO of the division.

In announcing the shakeup, newly appointed Tribune CEO Eddy Hartenstein said that Larsen was “the right person to lead our broadcasting operations.” But Chicago media reporter Robert Feder points out that Larsen, whose resume is lacking any real experience in broadcasting, can hardly be considered an ideal candidate for the position outside of the fact that he is one of Sam Zell‘s longtime cronies.

“He’s someone who grew up in Sam’s environment and made a lot of money for him, but I don’t know how he sold himself as the right person to lead a group of television stations and a radio station,” a former colleague told Feder. “A lot of general managers who’ve been career broadcasters for 30 or 40 years must be scratching their heads.” Read more

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