Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Local TV Doubles Up as CBS Spins Out of Tidewater

Group operator Local TV and CBS Television already have a relationship in Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News. Local TV owns CBS WKTR-TV, CBS’s local network affiliate. Now, addition to CBS affiliate WTKR,Local TV is also operating CBS’s semi-O there, CW WGNT-TV, and has a contract to buy the station. WGNT is the only station CBS holds in the market. It’s a semi-O&O since CBS is half-owner of the CW Television Network the station is affiliated with.

WTKR GM Jeff Hoffman is looking forward to his expanding role, and is already angling for personal advantage. “WGNT is one of the strongest CW affiliates in the country and comes with heritage programming, call letters and channel position. Everyone at WTKR is excited about adding the station to our operations Plus, I heard duopoly GMs get better stuff, so I’m hoping I’m up for a raise.”

Local TV CEO Bobby Lawrence says, “Yea right, Jeff. Nice try. But we do share your excitement in adding WGNT to our line-up. It’s a great station.”

An LMA was put into effect immediately, with a broad target date to close the deal set at sometime in Q3 2010. Terms of the transaction were not revealed.

Broadcast Union News: More and more, the public interest is served less and less. The continued consolidation of media outlets is a danger to a free, diverse press. - Bob Daraio

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