Monday, December 24, 2007




23 TV stations--Major carrier of the CW Network, which is owned by CBS and Time-Warner

1 radio station in Chicago

13 daily newspapers mostly in big markets

1 nationwide cable channel-WGN

According to wikipedia:

The Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) is a large American multimedia corporation based in Chicago, Illinois. It is the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher, responsible for the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Hartford Courant, and the Baltimore Sun, among others. Through other subsidiaries, the Tribune Company also owns Tribune Broadcasting, Tribune Entertainment, Tribune Media Services, and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

On April 2, 2007, Chicago-based investor Sam Zell announced plans to buy out the media company for $34.00 a share, totalling $8.2 billion. Zell will also turn the company private. The deal is expected to be completed some time in the fourth quarter of 2007[1], and was approved by 97% of the Company's shareholders on August 21, 2007[2]. Upon completion of the transaction, Tribune will divest itself of the Chicago Cubs and its 25 percent interest in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, and possibly Wrigley Field.

The deal was approved by 97% of the Company's shareholders on August 21, 2007.[1] Privatization of the Tribune Company occurred on December 20, 2007 with termination of trading in Tribune stock at the close of the market.[2]

On 21 December 2007, Tribune and Local TV announced plans to collaborate in the formation of an as yet unnamed "broadcast management company".[3]


CW Stations:
WPIX 11 - New York
KTLA 5 - Los Angeles
WGN 9 - Chicago (Tribune's flagship TV station)
KDAF 33 - Dallas
WDCW 50 - Washington
KHCW 39 - Houston
WSFL 39 - Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
KWGN 2 - Denver
WTTV 4 - Bloomington/Indianapolis
KSWB 69 - San Diego
WTXX 20 - Waterbury/Hartford/New Haven
WNOL 38 - New Orleans
KPLR 11 - St. Louis
KRCW 32 - Portland, OR

Fox Stations:
KCPQ 13 - Tacoma/Seattle
KTXL 40 - Sacramento
WXIN 59 - Indianapolis
WTIC 61 - Hartford/New Haven
WXMI 17 - Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, MI
WPMT 43 - York/Harrisburg, PA

ABC Station:
WGNO 26 - New Orleans

MyNetworkTV Stations:
WPHL 17 - Philadelphia
KMYQ 22 - Tacoma/Seattle

Other TV Assets:

Tribune Entertainment
Mutant X
Family Feud
South Park
Soul Train
Candid Camera
Ron Hazelton: House Calls
Pet Keeping City Guys
Earth: Final Conflict

Cable Channels:
Superstation WGN

Chicagoland's Television

Tribune Broadcasting

Once owned 1/3rd of the Food Network, but it’s now owned by Scripps co.

Radio WGN (AM) – Chicago


Newsday (Long Island, NY)
Los Angeles Times
Chicago Tribune
The Redeye
Baltimore Sun
AM New York
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
The Hartford Courant
The Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
Daily Press (Newport News, VA)
The Advocate (Stamford, CT)--sold 2007
Greenwich Time (CT)--sold 2007
Hoy (newspaper)
El Sentinel (Orlando)


Chicago Cubs (and Wrigley Field)

Tribune Media Services

Classified Ventures, LLC (partial)

CareerBuilder (partial)

Brass Ring


Chicago magazine

Channel Guide Magazine

Former Tribune Properties:


(Station and Market | Former and Current Affiliations | Sold to...)
WATL, Atlanta, GA | WB/MyNet | Sold to Gannett Corporation in 2006
WCWN, Albany, NY | WB/CW | Sold to Freedom Communications in 2006
WGCL (formerly WGNX), Atlanta, GA | Ind./CBS | traded to Meredith Corporation in 1999 WLVI, Boston, MA | WB/CW | Sold to Sunbeam Television in 2006

-10/2007 Time Media sells the Recycler Classifieds to Target Media Partners. Recycler publishes 4 ad papers, and 11 weekly or bi-weekly photo ad and employment guides in Southern California.

-10/2007 The Tribune Company sells its two southern Connecticut daily papers, the Greenwich Time and The Advocate of Stamford, to Hearst Corp. for $62.4 million. The papers will be managed by MediaNews Group.

Murdoch Deals Some of his TV Empire to Affiliate of the Tribune Company



Tribune is the major carrier of the CW Network, which is the joint venture of CBS and Time-Warner. Tribune now owns 23 major market TV stations. After this series of deals, Tribune will take over management of 17 more.

Rupert Murdoch will still own 2 TV stations each in L.A., New York City, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Orlando, Washington D.C. and one station in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa, Baltimore, Austin, Memphis, Winston-Salem and Ocala-Gainesville Florida.

News Corp. sells 8 Fox stations

Cory Bergman December 22nd, 2007

News Corp. has sold eight of its 35 stations to Oak Hill Partners, a private equity firm. The stations sold are: WJW (Cleveland), KDVR (Denver), WGHP (Greensboro), KTVI (St. Louis), WDAF (Kansas City), WITI (Milwaukee), KSTU (Salt Lake) and WBRC (Birmingham). Oak Hill already owns 9 other stations under the name Local TV LLC, and the WSJ reports that the day-to-day operations of all the stations may fall to Tribune. After all, Local TV’s top exec was just hired by Sam Zell to take over Tribune’s broadcast and internet operations.

Fox sells eight TV stations to Oak Hill

News Corp. had made good on its promise to sell eight of its Fox TV stations, and it did to the newly-formed Local TV group headed by private equity firm Oak Hill Partners for $1.1 billion. The proceeds from the sale gives News Corp. the cash it needs to purchase the Wall Street Journal.

In a separate development, Tribune and Oak Hill have agreed to create a third-party management company that will share administrative duties. Randy Michaels, who was CEO of Local TV, was named Thursday as CEO of Tribune Broadcasting and Tribune Interactive.

The eight stations being sold are: WJW-TV in Cleveland, KDVR-TV in Denver, KTVI in St. Louis, WDAF-TV in Kansas City, WITI-TV in Milwaukee, KSTU in Salt Lake City, WBRC-TV in Birmingham, and WGHP-TV in Greensboro-High Point, N.C.

Six of these stations - WJW, KTVI, WDAF, WITI, WBRC, and WGHP - were former affiliates of the Big Three networks that were involved in the New World-Fox affiliation switch in 1994 and 1995. New World Communications sold all but two of its stations to Fox in 1997.

Local TV launched earlier this year when it made a deal to acquire eight former New York Times Co. stations, including WREG-TV (CBS) in Memphis, KFOR-TV (NBC) in Oklahoma City, WNEP-TV (ABC) in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa., and WQAD-TV (ABC) in Moline, IL.

The transaction leaves Fox with 26 stations (for now - the fate of WHBQ in Memphis is still undetermined), including WFLD-TV and WPWR-TV in Chicago.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Boo Hoo!...Media Giants Say Anti-Monopoly Rules Governing the Public-Owned, but Corporate-Occupied Airwaves are Them

Feds bottle caps
Congloms prep deals as end to regs looms


WASHINGTON -- The forecast for the next wave of media consolidation got friendlier Friday when a federal appeals court sent strong signals that it will allow networks and the congloms who own them to add unprecedented numbers of TV stations and cable systems to their empires. Reps of the mega-companies that dominate the entertainment biz were present -- and smiling -- during oral arguments before a three-judge appellate panel in the nation's capital. Ultimately, the court's ruling could reshape the TV biz in terms of who controls both programming and distribution. It didn't take long for the robes to begin questioning the merits and constitutionality of two Federal Communications Commission ownership rules underpinning the historic balance between nets and affiliates, as well as the historic tension between broadcasters and cablers.

"You're in a jam," said Judge Harry Edwards to FCC general counsel Grey Pash. CBS, Fox and NBC want the court to scrap an FCC cap that blocks a broadcaster from reaching more than 35% of the national audience.

Counsel for the nets told the appeals court that the FCC reg is "oppressive" and a violation of the First Amendment. "Every day this rule is in effect, we are being deprived of reaching 65% of the nation's households" said Edward Warren, attorney for the Eye, Fox and Peacock.

Already, CBS parent company Viacom is at about 40%. Fox is likewise over the cap due to its recent merger with Chris Craft. Affiliates, i.e., independent station owners, argue that the rule is their last defense against the power of the networks, and that the nets shouldn't be allowed to dominate both programming and distribution. Should the 35% cap be lifted, networks will use their leverage and might to determine compensation and to buy up stations, according to the National Affiliated Stations Alliance (NASA) and the National Broadcasters Assn. (NAB). While most attention has been focused on the 35% rule, the second FCC ownership reg up before the appeals court is of equal significance. As it stands now, the FCC won't allow a broadcaster to operate a cable system in the same market. Thus, congloms like AOL Time Warner can't get into the lucrative business of operating a TV station in any of the many markets where they provide cable service. Another good example is the Walt Disney Co., which would have to dump stations in certain major markets if it wanted to pursue a merger with a cable giant such as Comcast. (While the Mouse isn't a direct party in the appeals case, top Disney lobbyist Preston Padden made sure to be on hand Friday.) During the much-anticipated hearing, AOL Time Warner general counsel Paul Cappuccio told the court that the cross-ownership cable/broadcast rule equals "ongoing suppression" and "irreparable harm."

Pash bashing?

But the three appellate robes reserved most of their questioning for FCC counsel Pash, who didn't seem to make much headway in arguing that overturning the rules would have "enormous adverse consequences." The judges said it would be more than appropriate for the court to strike the ownership rules, but let the FCC draw up new limits -- this time, with adequate justification. Consumer advocates say remanding the rules to the FCC would be tantamount to overturning them altogether, since Republican FCC topper Michael Powell has made it clear that he favors deregulation. Others disagree and say that now that he heads the regulatory agency, Powell must take a more centrist position compared to that he maintained previously as just a commissioner.

Nonetheless, it was difficult for affiliates to appreciate the witty barbs that punctuated much of Friday's legal session. "I don't mean to disturb the good humor, but please, hear me out," said attorney Bob Long, who argued for the NAB and NASA, which reps the more than 600 CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates.

Reach breach

Long said it was a "gross overstatement" for the networks to argue that they are being cut off from reaching 65% of the American audience, considering that nets reach virtually everyone through broadcast programming alone. What's more, companies like Viacom that own some of the nets provide vast cable programming.

But nets say the affiliates are crying wolf and that affils still enjoy enormous power, pointing out that some larger station groups, such as Tribune, are nearing the 35% limit themselves. In the competitive age of cable and satellite, networks say they shouldn't be barred from fully participating in the marketplace. Even before the oral arguments, the nets and AOL Time Warner were predicting success. Several months ago, the same appeals court struck down an FCC cable ownership rule prohibiting a cabler from reaching more than 30% of the national audience. FCC cap cast The FCC will soon launch a public probe into whether the cap should be kept in some fashion, but again, people are predicting that Powell will work toward deregulation. In the coming days, the FCC is expected to launch a similar probe into repealing a cross-ownership rule barring a broadcaster from owning a newspaper in the same major market. Powell is definitely opposed to this regulation. Meanwhile, the federal appeals court is expected to rule on the two ownership rules in the next few months.


It's not fairness

L.A. Times Editorial 7/24/2007

There are plenty of opinions on the airwaves; the government doesn't have to mandate equal time.

(Democrats) anger at (talk radio) demagoguery is justified, but their response isn't. They want to re­vive the Fairness Doctrine - a Cold War-era federal rule designed to promote balanced coverage of important isues on the public airwaves. Under this rule, broadcasters who took a side on a divisive topic could be compelled to give free airtime to opposing points of view. If they refused, they risked losing their licenses.

The threat to talk radio is clear. If the rule were reinstituted, stations that carry Rush Lim­baugh could be forced to broadcast commentaries favoring everything that Limbaugh derides, from greenhouse gas controls to same-sex marriage. With hundreds of provocative talk-show hosts on the air, federal regulators could soon be awash in demands for rebuttals.

But the danger posed by the Fairness Doc­ttrine Is broader and more fundamental than an attack on a radio format. No matter what your point of view might be, you have free or inexpensive out­lets available today to express It - maybe not a radio or TV station but certainly a website, a video blog, a podcast or an e-mail newsletter. At the same time, the public has unprecedented access to a diverse array of opinions. Just as the govern­ment shouldn't decide what you say on the chan­nels you create, nor should it be able to dictate the range of opinions people hear over the air.

The Federal Communications Commission instituted the Fairness Doctrine in the late 1940s as a compromise of sorts - it wanted broadcast­ers to pay attention to local issues but feared they would exert undue influence over them. It aban­doned the rule in 1987 on grounds that the rise of cable TV networks had diluted broadcasters' sway over public opinion. The proliferation of media sources has made that dilution even more pro­nounced today.

Granted, broadcasters remain the most pow­erful voices because they're the ones with the larg­est audiences. But that's because the public chooses to tune them in, not because there are no alternatives. Restoring the government's power to monitor broadcasters' fulminations and splice in opposing views seems more likely to tame speech than to enlighten listeners.


What can we own?

L.A. Times editorial, 8/25/2006

MEDIA COMPANIES IN THIS COUNTRY face unreasonable government restrictions on their activities. Yet for the Federal Communications Commission, rewriting the ownership limits for television and radio stations has been a labor fit for Sisyphus. The commission updates the rules every few years, as required by law, only to have a federal appeals court or Congress smack them down.

The latest go-round started when the Commission announced in June that it would reconsider some of its rules limiting what companies can own. The FCC had tried to ease or eliminate these limits in 2003, only to have its actions blocked by the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate, prodded by a motley alliance of anti-corporate zealots and conservative activists who think local media tycoons are less lib­eral than national media tycoons, also intervened.

Media ownership restraints seek to preserve a healthy competition of distinct voices, but the rules developed over the decades are woefully outdated. If anything, what the FCC tried to do three years ago was too modest. In an age of cable and satellite TV (not to mention an age of You Tube. com -It's no longer justifiable for the government to impose any limits on how many affiliates broadcast networks can own, given that CBS, NBC and ABC no longer control the distribution of their programming the way they did when American families gathered around their sets to watch "I Love Lucy," captured by their rabbit-ear antennas.

And yet the FCC only sought to raise the percent­age of the national audience that network-owned at affiliates can reach from 35% to 45%. This would have been a radical move - in 1960. Three years ago, It was laughably meek. After a compromise raised the limit to 39%, these rules aren't even on the table for review this time around.

A different set of rules limiting the number of me­dia outlets one company can own within the same city do remain relevant. Here again, the FCC was rather prudent in its ill-fated 2003 ruling. The Commission would have let TV groups control three sta­tions in markets with at least 18 outlets, and two sta­tions in markets with five to 17 outlets - although only one of the stations could be among the four most popular in that community. It also proposed to allow TV, radio and newspaper owners in a community to consolidate to varying degrees, depending on the number of TV stations in the market.

Full disclosure: Tribune Co., owner of this news­paper and KTLA-TV Channel 5, would benefit from a relaxation of these rules. Indeed, its purchase of The Times in 2000 was allowed because of the widespread assumption that the so-called cross-ownership rule banning ownership of a broadcast station and news­paper in the same city would soon be retired, as it should be.

More cities might still have a competitive news­paper market if more broadcasters had been allowed to buy newspapers in the past.

Studies show that those broadcasters that do operate local newspapers through waivers or exemptions offer more news and public affairs programs, on average, than competi­tors that don't. Moreover, the business challenges facing media giants such as Tribune and Time Warn­er Inc., which had hoped for greater "synergy" divi­dends, underscore the ever-changing media land­scape and the fact that Americans have a growing number of media choices. The number of people who regularly watch local TV news is down from 77% in 1993 to 54% today. It's in their interest that the FCC press ahead with liberalization.

(Editor's note. This claim that letting TV station operators also buy up daily newspapers will lead to a competitive newspaper market is totally bogus. In fact, only a few companies control most of California's daily newspaper subscribers.

See, for list showing that 40% of California daily newspapers are owned by one company, MediaNews Group, which is also partners with Hearst Corporation, a large owner of TV stations and cable TV channels. Two of the other largest daily paper owners in California, Tribune company and Freedom Communications also own lots of TV stations. With this control of California daily papers by TV station owners, you'd think that most towns would have two or more daily, competitive papers, based on the L.A. Times' logic. Not so. In fact, it's very hard to find a city in this state where one paper isn't totally dominant. )