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Thundershock MN

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Everything posted by Thundershock MN

  1. 1. The "Service to New Jersey" thing is way overblown and I think people read into it too much. Also, said politicians that did a lot of the fist pounding are no longer with us. 2. If I was going to place a bet I'd put majority of my chips on them simply going back to "WWOR 9". Like KTVU I think this is the one case where the calls hold some value in the market. But, that's just my opinion. And, I agree with CircleSeven that the NYC & LA stations will be the last to receive a rebranding if they decide to go all in with rebranding the MNT O&O's. Of the 4 duopoly partners that have now been rebranded I think this ranks towards the top. The blue & black looks nice and should flow with any MNT promos/imaging. But, they are also using a red and black logo/imaging in some on air promos which makes no sense to me and seems out of place from cohesion standpoint. But, I guess it could be worse. Yes, they are adding a 7pm newscast. It won't launch until later this fall. My guess is Mid-September. But, I haven't heard an exact start date or anchor team. FWIW, I was under the impression the rebrand would take place along side the Minnesota State Fair (Aug. 24 - Sept. 4.) And, They'd use the event as the "big unvailing" for the new brand. For whatever reason they choose to quietly "soft launch" last Friday night. Unlike their sister stations I don't believe any press release/news article has been put out yet and the My29 subsite is still up and running. So, I'm kind of thinking the fair will be the "official" launch. I'd expect more on said newscast and the rest of the "Fox 9+" lineup at that time. PS - Unless there has been a mass exodus recently there appears to be an inordinate amount of job openings in Houston right now....just saying.
  2. The O&O's have been playing with the scheduling for the past 3-4 years now. It started with WWOR shifting House and placing The Simpsons on Thursday nights. KCOP followed after, then WPWR. It has kind of snowballed from there. I haven't kept up but, I'm 95.7% sure more than half of the MNT O&O's are running programming out of pattern now. And, really it goes back a little further than that if you look at MNT affiliates as a whole. Fox started loosening the reigns on branding/standardization around 2011-13 if memory serves me correct. And, the allowing more stations to run out of pattern followed shortly thereafter. The affiliates realized that the "My ___" branding really didn't hold much value. The O&O's are just starting to realize what a lot already knew. MNT the programming service will be around at least another year. And, I wouldn't be that shocked if it hangs around for some time after that. IDK It may become an unbranded service. But, it's cheap to run and allows affiliates to fill 10 hours of real estate a week in one fell swoop. So, it does serve some purpose. Sure it's a crap load of off net re-runs. But, what would most of these stations fill that time with anyway.... off net re-runs. As noted above it's the branding that's garbage. It's a vestage of Fox's purchase of MySpace. If your a sister station (like the O&O's) and people view your station as a dumping ground for leftovers and second runs, etc of programming on the "senior" station then why not go whole hog and leverage that "senior" station's brand. And, generally speaking that "senior" station's brand holds a little more value. If you're going to attempt some sort of brand extension/brand synergy it might be best to use an established brand versus some flavor of the month website that will fade into obscurity almost as quickly as it came into being...just saying.
  3. Little birdie tells me WFTC is next in line. Sounds like the branding will be "Fox 9+". I find it some interesting that Fox isn't using a standard template and/or logos for these rebrands given their liking for brand standardization. If the new logo I've seen is legit they are yet again doing something a little different from the other My O&O's that have been rebranded. It appears they will keep the blue & black color scheme and use a the horizontal "Fox 9" bug logo (recolored blue & black) with a smaller "+" appended to the end. It also sounds like it will be rebranded here in the next month as well.
  4. Only the primary stream of a full power licence has must carry rights. Must carry doesn't apply to low power licences or subchannels. They can negotiate for carriage, which appears to be what Univision has done here. In any event you answered my question so, thank you I appreciate it. And, you do bring up one other point that they could co-opt WMGM's "old" cable spot if they have a spot lower in the lineup. Given WFPA-CD has carriage I'm almost wondering if this purchase is maybe to backfill and make up for the likely loss of the simulcast on WUVP. I can't see WUVP continuing the simulcast once they move to their shared facility. So, I guess this would allow them to at least make sure some of that southern portion of the market keeps OTA coverage. Welp, as it stands right now WGTW is "moving out" which I agree is a bit odd. I expected to see more channel share "move in's" like WBIN is doing...this the reverse of that. I'm guessing WGTW cares more about keeping their license (and the must carry rights) then OTA coverage. So, in that sense it doesn't matter where they are located in the DMA as long as they have an active license. Since, the shared facility doesn't cover Burlington, NJ; WGTW will be changing their COL to Millville, NJ as well. I suppose it's possible but, I just don't see them being able to pull off a "move in."
  5. I'd be very surprised if Univision is able to pull off a "move in" with WMGM. They'd would have a heck of a time moving in WMGM on their current channel (RF 36) without causing co-channel interference with WCBS, WITF and/or WTTG. They are pretty much hemmed in where they are at. And, I don't know that they can find another channel without the same or similar problem. That Northeast Corridor is pretty crowded. I am kind of curious to see what the plan is here. What is WFPA-CD's cable carriage like? Could they just be making a play to get a full power licence to leverage for improved cable carriage? One other minor item wort noting is that WGTW will be Channel Sharing with WMGM with WMGM acting as the "host".
  6. Use the FCC's Licensing and Management System (LMS). Usually, most of that will eventually trickle over to the public file/station profile. FYI - There's only one other CSA that has been officially filed with the FCC, that being KTNC. But, I expect them to slowly start trickling in now.
  7. The Boston DMA stations are phases 4 & 8. So, WBTS-LD should be able to stay on RF 46 until March 13, 2020 (the end of phase 8) at the latest. Their RF channel won't be needed for another full power licensee to move to and the wireless companies can't do much until the reclaimed bandwidth has been fully cleared in that area. So, it's status quo for the time being. I wouldn't worry about them. They'll be fine. It's 90 days from the receipt of auction proceeds for stations NOT entering into a channel sharing agreement. And, 180 days from the receipt of auction proceeds for stations entering into a channel sharing agreement. That is the absolute latest (barring a waiver, for which the FCC I set a pretty high threshold) they can remain on their pre-auction channel. But, I believe the commission is allowing stations to cease operations (or, really go silent until the license is officially surrendered) early provided all the viewer notification requirements are completed. I don't believe any stations have been paid yet so, the clock hasn't really started yet. Yep, WBIN will be sharing with WUTF (using WUTF's facilities.) Barring something totally unforseen Univision will likely be the owner of the WBIN license. There are put/call options in their agreement. I think it is safe to assume this is the "major television group" referenced in those press releases/articles back in February. So, barring Binnie finding another third party to by the license he'll likely follow through on the put option and force Univision to acquire WBIN for the agreed upon price. I don't know why Binnie would even attempt to find another suitor at this point. Plus, as it stands WBIN will only get 1.7 Mbps of bandwidth as defined in their capacity allocation portion of the agreement. So, I'm thinking it's a fait accompli Univision will end up with the license at this point. And, I'm guessing at least in the short term they will just park Grit on the WBIN license for the time being. Also, if anyone wants to read the WBIN/WUTF channel sharing agreement, here is a link to the PDF. It's also unredacted for those that care.
  8. They could just channel share with WSJV. They effectively upgrade to a full power signal. And, WSJV gets someone to help with the electric bill while maintaining their license (and must carry rights.) Win-win-win. Just to elaborate on your other post. In a lot of ways this is similar to the digital transition. WNBC didn't go away when they moved from RF 4 to RF 28 in the digital transition. Likewise, WNBC isn't going away by moving from RF 25 to RF 35. The only difference is WNJU will also be licensed to RF 35. So, they get to "share" an RF channel (or, transmitter/antenna if you will.) Too many people are making a big deal out of the "go off the air" thing. The FCC views surrendering the license and channel sharing the same in the auction context...The station is giving up their 6 MHz. That doesn't mean the station is giving up their license or becoming a "subchannel", though. They can keep their license and "shack up" on another RF Channel with another licensee or licencees.
  9. WFMZ will be channel sharing with KJWP. It was part of the asset purchase agreement. The agreement called for WFMP to enter and accept a "go off the air" bid the buyer and seller will be splitting the proceeds. The agreement also called for WFMZ to enter into a channel sharing agreement with KJWP acting as "host". So, both WFMZ and KJWP will exist just like today with the only change being they will share the KJWP transmitter/antenna. I assume it's pretty cheap to run now. They could run it from a broom closet. Only real expense is the electric bill for the transmitter.
  10. So, looking at that list quickly I only count 11 licenses/stations that are truly "going off the air." Welcome to the era of Channel Sharing Agreements. I didn't expect that many... looking at that list some of the "Spectrum speculators" entered into Channel Sharing Agreements as well which is interesting. broadcastfan9751 summed it up well (re-quoted below.) I think we really need to stop thinking about 1 licence/station per transmitter/antenna. We are entering a world where one transmitter/antenna will house multiple licenses/stations.
  11. WBTS-LD is licensed as a low power digital station. WRT the bolded, that was the original plan. They intended to have NBC & Cozi on 8.x and Telemundo & Telexitos on 60.x with the subchannels differing depending on if the signal is coming from the WNEU or WBTS-LD transmitter, like WCAU/WWSI or KNTV/KSTS. Only issue is they kind of f'd up selecting 8 as the virtual channel number for WBTS-LD (and, refusing to select a different virtual channel number prior to launch) as WMTW overlaps WNEU. So, their plan was quickly shut down by the FCC In theory, yes. A licensee could change/move a call sign to match the previous station. And, they could ask for a virtual channel waiver to maintain continuity and avoid viewer confusion. A couple good examples would be WBTS-LP & WBND-LD or KJCT. However, in this instance if WBTS-LD were "moved" to a full power station like WMFP they would likely be unable to obtain a waiver to move virtual channel 8. As kdex86 pointed out most (if not all) full power signals in the market overlap either WMTW or WTNH. IMO they should have went with a land mobile RF channel (14-20) or, 37 for their virtual channel number...no chance of conflict. It's almost like nobody thought about it until the last minute and they just picked something (ie: a low number) without putting much thought into it. Heck, they had to get another virtual channel waiver for the simulcast on WMFP. They should be using 8.x, the virtual channel number of the license/station being simulcast (or, WMFP's VC of 62.x). But, they can't due to the overlap with WNTH and WMTW. Details guys...it's all about the details. One other item I'd like to note is that low power stations are not protected from displacement in the incentive auction. So, WBTS-LD as a low power station could end up without an RF channel to operate on post repack. Of course, they could end up getting an RF channel to operate on post repack or "move to full power" by acquiring another full power license in the market. As such, the use of WBTS-LD as it currently stands is clearly a "stopgap" for the time being until things shake out post auction. I guess all I'm saying is things are still a little "fluid" and can't really be considered "permanent" yet.
  12. First, I think it's fairly safe to say (In my opinion at least) that the NBC/WHDH split leaked vary early on. Remember vary early on the rumors were NBC was moving the affiliation to NECN and going cable only. NBC likely had a plan (or, plans) and at least a rough outline then but nothing firm or finalized yet. They were kind of forced into acknowledging the shift way earlier than they likely anticipated because info was being leaked and some of it was incorrect (ie: moving to NECN) and needed to be refuted. So, they we're all ready behind the 8 ball from the start with regards to the negative press due to the erroneous info and having to comment before anything was finalized...plus, it's Comcast and some people have an negative view to start with. Second, I think the plan all along has been to get "NBC Boston" on a second full power stick one way or another. The incentive auction was slow to get started. Remember its start was pushed back on a couple occasions. And, now that it is under way it has labored along with likely a couple more months (at least) to go. That hampers their ability to really do anything while it is on going. I'm sure when they made the decision a year or two ago go O&O in Boston the timing looked good. But, the timing didn't go their way. Isn't it pretty much on record at this point they did offer to buy WHDH for $200M (or, there about) and Ed's asking price was extremely high ($500M)? Why would they overpay like that when all they need is a transmitter? It will all work out for them in the end so there's no need to waste money. FWIW, I'll go on record now...I believe NBC will buy WMFP post-auction. The money being offered to WMFP likey fall below what NBC was offering pre-auction. NRJ isn't in business to run stations long term they bought them to flip for a profit. Given how the auction is playing out, flipping the station/transmitter to NBC post-auction might be more profitable.
  13. Zero chance of that happening. KFXF is not needed as part of the reverse auction and wasn't even offered an opening bid price. It will either be shut down or donated/sold on the cheap.
  14. Whew… So, I think WBTS-LD will be just fine. But, I do have a few random thoughts/questions. First, I'm curious what some of the Canadian MVPDs will do come Jan. 1. WBTS-LD isn't authorized for carriage in Canada yet. It will be interesting to see if the CRTC approves Bell’s request to add WBTS-LD to the list of “non-Canadian programming services authorized for distribution” in time. I'm assuming WDIV would just get plugged in for the time being. For all the hand wringing that's been done over how this move shafts “OTA only” viewers I'd be curious how many actually negatively impacted. And, what the net loss/gain is. They're obviously gaining some “extra” OTA carriage in the northern part of the market via WNEU that isn't covered with WHDH’s OTA signal. Just be interesting to know. I still think they will try to get WBTS-LD on a full power stick post-auction. In fact, Mike St. Peter, president and general manager of NBC Boston, NECN, and Telemundo Boston, made the following comments last month in the Boston Globe: “We have come a long way. We continue to look for how we can improve over-the-air service,” he said. “When the spectrum auction finishes, there will be more options available to our company for that.” Something in my gut makes me think they were originally going to use VC 10 over the air before someone either WJAR or (likely) the FCC pointed out that wouldn't work. And, they pivoted at the last minute. Nothing concrete to really base this on. I just find the channel 10 cable/satellite placement odd. What's on cable 8 anyway? Finally, quick funny story with regards to their virtual channel. Remember when NBCU put out that press release stating that NBC Boston “will be available on channel 8 or 8.2 depending on location.” It was assumed (correctly) by some that they planned to map the simulcast on WNEU to 8.2. Only problem with that is WMTW which also uses VC 8 and has a contour that overlaps with WNEU. So, their council sent an email to the FCC to try and obtain an “official” ok and confirm the IDs to be used. And, they were shut down in less than 3 hours. Might want to have your ducks in row first... just saying. It launched on DirecTV last Thursday. Also, WNEU is now only available via HD(/MPEG4) equipment. WBTS-LD inherited WNEU's SD slot from WNEU.
  15. [quote name='rkolsen']Maybe @Thundershock MN can provide some insight to this but don't FCC rules require the virtual channel number to be equivalent to their analog channel number?[/QUOTE] So, I'm a bit late to the party and this will likely be long winded but here it goes... Yes, for the most part licensees are required to use their old analog number as their virtual channel number. Raymie already alluded to some of this earlier in the thread. But, just to expand a bit licensees are assigned a virtual channel in the 2-69 range as follows: [LIST=1] [*]For a licensee with an analog license existing at the time it commences digital service, the major virtual channel number shall be set to match the old analog RF channel number existing at the time it commenced digital service. [*]For a new licensee without an existing analog license at the time it commenced digital service, the major virtual channel number shall be set to the FCC-assigned RF channel number for ATSC digital TV broadcast. See: KDCU-DT or WWTW as examples. [*]If the RF channel assigned to a licensee for digital ATSC broadcast is changed for any reason, the major virtual channel number used by that licensee shall not change. See: KTVT & WHDH as examples. [*]If an RF channel previously allotted for analog TV in a market is assigned to a newly-licensed DTV licensee in that market, the newly-licensed DTV licensee shall use, as its major virtual channel, the number of the DTV RF channel originally assigned to the previous analog TV licensee of the assigned channel. See: WMDE (conflicts w/ WTTG) or as Raymie pointed out, K26KJ-D (conflicts w/ KINT) as examples. [*]If a licensee owns or controls broadcast licenses for two or more different RF channels having overlapping Service Areas, a common major virtual channel number may be used for all services on all channels. In this case, the major virtual channel number shall be as determined in mandatory requirements 1-4 above for any one of the RF channels. The values in the minor virtual channel number fields shall be partitioned to ensure that there is no duplication in the DTV Service Area, including the overlapping DTV Service Areas of other licensees using that same virtual channel number. See: KTCA/KTCI, KSTP/KSTC or KMSP/WFTC as examples [*]A licensee may include in the transmitted multiplex programming originating from a different licensee. In this case, the major/minor virtual channel numbers of the original broadcast may be used to label those services, as long as the major/minor virtual channel number combinations are coordinated in the local Service Area to avoid conflicts in the channel numbers. See:WCAU & WWSI as an example. (Although co-owned in this example the stations don't have to be under common ownership/control.) [*]For a licensee’s signal carried by a digital TV translator, the major/minor virtual channel numbers shall remain the same as the original broadcast station unless the major virtual channel conflicts with a licensee operating in the Service Area of the translator. In that case, the translator shall change the major virtual number to a non-conflicting number. [*]The FCC allows waivers of the PSIP standard on a case by case basis to resolve "unique situations" thereby assigning a different virtual channel to a licensee. See: KAXT-CD (waiver for VC 1), [URL='http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getimportletter_exh.cgi?import_letter_id=45006']WDFL-LD (waiver for VC 18)[/URL][URL='http://, [url=http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getimportletter_exh.cgi?import_letter_id=35363]WMYS-LP & WBND-LD (waiver to swap VCs 34 & 57)'], [url=http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getimportletter_exh.cgi?import_letter_id=35363]WMYS-LP & WBND-LD (waiver to swap VCs 34 & 57)[/URL][/url], [URL='http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getimportletter_exh.cgi?import_letter_id=53875']KGBY & KJCT-LP (waiver to swap VCs 8 & 20)[/URL], [URL='https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/api/download/attachment/25076ff352a8be4c0152d0b0bf5600b4']KOTA, KEVN-LD & KHME (waiver to swap VCs 3, 7 & 23)[/URL], [URL='https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/api/download/attachment/25076ff35637e5610157fce4d2980c5b']KSNV & KHSV (waiver to swap VCs 3 & 21...albeit a little over a year and a half after the fact.)[/URL] [/LIST] And, just for completeness they don't approve every request. See:[URL='https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/api/download/attachment/25076f915406a04f0154b960f78f0940'] KGSA-LD (denied request to use VC 21)[/URL], [URL='https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-662A1.pdf'] WJLP (denied their “alternative proposal” to use VC 3.10)[/URL] and [URL='https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/api/download/attachment/25076ff355269af0015597938332068f'] KVLY (denied their request to use VC 4 for CBS programming.)[/URL] Then of course you have that small handful of stations that as far as I can tell seemingly don't care and choose to do whatever they want. See: KAIL, WBOC & WRLM. There is also the ability to use virtual channels 70-99 within the ATSC standard. Although, I'd say the way it’s use laid out it’s more of a “loose framework.” Broadcasters can use it for “other services” which they don't want identified with main channel. Very early in the digital transition USDTV, an “OTA cable” service provider, leased space from various broadcast channels for their service and mapped all the channels under a common major virtual channel of 99 for example. Why AirBox doesn't currently do this I don't know. And, Tribune was looking to use VC 75 early on in the digital transition. The rumor was they might map all their stations under a common VC. Obviously, that never came to fruition so, we’ll never really know what the plan was. With regards to WBTS-LD[URL='http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getimportletter_exh.cgi?import_letter_id=45006'] they were [/URL][URL='https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/api/download/attachment/25076ff35637e5610157fce0e3f50c59']granted a waiver[/URL]. Because they were displaced (a couple times) in the original digital transition the FCC views WBTS-LD as a station transitioning from analog channel 46. Normally, they would use their analog channel number (46) as the virtual channel. But, WWDP is already using virtual channel 46 so they can't use that. The next step (see #2 above) would be to use WWDPs RF channel (10) as their virtual channel. However, that wouldn't work either as their would be overlap in the service contour with WJAR causing a conflict there as well. So, not having an option as defined within the PSIP standard they picked a virtual channel number that wouldn't conflict with any neighboring stations (8) and petitioned the FCC for a waiver. With all that said I’m still of the opinion prior allowing a licensee to “pick” their own virtual channel as part of a waiver request to resolve a conflict the FCC should require a station to do one of the following: Either, use channel 37 (zero chance of a conflict) or use a land mobile RF channel number (14-20) for that market, if that area has a land mobile allocation. Heck, if push came to shove you could even add Channel 1 in there as an option, too. But, I digress.
  16. I can assure you w/ 100% certainty that they do not currently air a newscast on Sundays @ 10:35pm. That slot has been occupied by Rosen's Sports Sunday for the last 34+ years. Of course that will change after this Sunday's final airing.OTOH the Saturday 10:35pm slot is currently filled with a newscast. That odd newscast slot is also a vestage of previous Sports shows (outdoors/high school related) being dropped a few years back. They essentially rolled the time into the newscast. But, if there are sufficient Sports stories to report on they will have an "extended" sports segment...which is the same thing they are planning to do on Sunday nights.Why Tribune Media Services/Gracenote and/or Rovi have it listed as "WCCO 4 News @ 10:35pm" on Sundays I haven't the foggiest idea and the guide data has been that way for some time now. I personally think that is a clear sign WRT their bidding strategy for those two stations. But, one could make the argument they could still sell one of the new transmitters, repurpose them in other market or channel share with a third party licensee in the markestatement, WRT these two stations it's still possible they could participate in the auction even if their parent bought new transmitters for them. As an aside, every article listing who is partaking in the auction just says something to the effect of "[insert station group] is planning on participating." First, we don't know their bidding strategies or plans. For example, a statement of "CBS plans on participating" would be 100% true and factual even if they really only intended to participate w/ the KCCO & KCCW licenses and nothing else. Or, only look to move licenses from UHF to VHF. And, unless they have zero interest most groups are going to throw their hat in the ring at this point. It's relatively low risk and keeps their options open as they can always drop out. Quite frankly I'd be shocked if they clear the full 126Mhz. I understand why they chose that target. But, I think once the bids start getting reduced significantly a fair amount stations will drop out. And, the clearing target will end up needing to be lowered. Just my opinion.
  17. The Consumer Investigative Unit is for all intents and purposes a hubbed operation. The NBC/Telemundo Consumer Investigative Center is located in Dallas/Fort Worth within the Studios at DFW facility, the same building that houses KXAS/KXTX. All the calls to the toll free numbers (and, emails) are routed to an agent/producer at The NBC/Telemundo Consumer Investigative Center in Dallas/Fort Worth. The agent/producer who takes the call/email does the "grunt work" and works with (or, forwards) the story to the local station(s) producers/reporters to get the story to air. So, KNBC's previous space constraints would be of little concern as everything runs through Dallas. With that said as far as I can tell the only stations (on the NBC side) that haven't been added to the Consumer Investigative "Hub" are the 3 California stations and WTVJ...why I have know idea. And, for anyone that cares WCCO will be expanding their Sunday 10pm newscast to a full hour starting May 29th. The half-hour Rosen's Sports Sunday which currently airs at 10:35pm will air it's last episode next week.
  18. The NBC/Telemundo Consumer Investigative Center is located at the new NBCU facility in Fort Worth, TX. EDIT: Sara Garza, former KOMO Asst. ND (and spouse of current KXAS VP of News, Mark Ginther) is heading up the operation. She put out a Facebook post a few months ago looking for more producers to help staff the operation. Here is one of the expired job posts. And, here is a Miami Harald article from last fall outlining the investments in Telemundo. In it they noted that NBCUniversal "add[ed] nine Telemundo Responde (Telemundo Responds) consumer investigative units to address issues called in by viewers to a control center in Dallas." Sorry, I figured I'd elaborate and provide a few souces to back up my one sentence reply.
  19. First, I wouldn't say Tribune Media is "struggling." Second, the renewal of their CW affiliation agreements is totally unrelated to their debt load. One has nothing to do with the other and why you tied those two together puzzles me.
  20. And yet the TEGNA, with the TV and digital assets, has a better chance of being able to service it's debt.
  21. As bad as the My[#] branding is it does hold some value. That branding has been around for nearly a decade now on all the MNT O&OS. And, although it hasn't been an O&O long I'm pretty sure WMYT has had the My[#] for the same length of time. I'm not sure any other Fox O&O could pull off the "[Call Letter] Plus" branding. Fox for pretty much it'sentire history has de-emphasized Call Letters in favor of "Fox [#]" branding. If they tried a "KSAZ Plus" or 'KRIV Plus" I think you'd have a ton of people wondering what KSAZ and KRIV is. Viewers don't know or associate those stations with their call letters. I don't see it happening but if push came to shove you'd see likey see a "FOX[#] Plus" branding. But, the fact that the KTVU calls still hold value and that Fox apparently sees that kind of speaks volumes to the KTVU brand. Yes, The PSIP standard/FCC rules would allow them to do so. Without writing a long post I'll just direct you to a couple previous posts here, here, here and here if you'd like all the details. There are a small number of Diginets (MeTV, Bounce and CoziTV being the main ones) that allow limited network preemption (usually 1-2 hrs./day) for newscasts. Small nitpick. But, WFTC isn't simulcast on KMSP. 9.2 is the "primary stream" for WFTC and it still originates from the WFTC transmitter. In fact, 9.1, 9.2 & 9.3 all originate from WFTC. 9.9, which is KMSP's "primary stream", and 9.4 orignate from KMSP. The only simulcast amongst them is on 9.1 which duplicates KMSP's "primary stream". A lot of them do. WFTC has historically picked up news programming in October during the World Series, etc. But, it all depends on contracts with syndicators, etc. Some agreements require shows to be clears and certian timeslots. And, some don't allow much wiggle room for shows to be bumped...usually only containing exceptions for breaking news or severe weather.
  22. Dear Sinclair, If you are going to submit a multiple ownership exhibit with an application you may want to proof-read it first. Or, hire a better consultant. HINT: WJLP is no longer located in the market. That station "moved" some 2,000+ miles to the east TWO years ago. So, you might be stretching it a bit including it as a voice in the SLC market. Thanks. For what it's worth the voices chart submitted would still contain the same number of voices as KUTF / Daystar was left off. I just get a chuckle that they forgot the station that is the impediment to them mapping the KMYU simulcast on KUTV to 12.1 and added a NYC station in it's place. I think it's safe to say that it will be terminated once the deal closes. The FCC has held the position for quite some time that stations in a single DMA may be commonly owned, without the need for a waiver (satellite or failing station), if their Grade B contours do not overlap From the application: "KMYU(TV) is licensed to St. George, Utah, located in the southwestern corner of Utah, more than 250 miles from Salt Lake City in north-central Utah, home to KUTV(TV) and KJZZ TV. Neither the prior analog Grade B contours nor, as shown in Exhibit 1 hereto, the current digital noise limited contours, of KMYU(TV) overlap the contours of either KUTV(TV) or KJZZ-TV. Because of the lack of signal overlap, the stations can be owned in combination in compliance with the local television ownership rules without the need for a satellite exemption." So, they are fine to own all three stations.
  23. The early retirement buyouts are a "cost control" measure. Payroll (and benefits) are usually the largest expense for most companies. So, when looking to keep expenses in line unfortunately that is one of the first places they look. These types of (or, similar) buyouts are happening at all types of companies healthy, unhealthy and those somewhere in between. Those currently closest to retirement age often have larger salaries due to tenure and a lot of them may have a pension (along with other retirement benefits) as well. Obviously, they can't just layoff everyone over 55...that would be age discrimination. But, there is nothing preventing companies from discriminating favorably against older employees...enter early retirement buyouts. Not only does this allow them to lower their payroll by replacing higher salaried workers with new low salaried employees. But, with the rising cost of insurance obligations as well as adding to years of service for pension obligations most companies want to gain a handle on those benefits as well. By convincing them to leave active employment they can gain some control and certainty around those future benefit obligations. I'm not saying I agree with the tactic but, just pointing out why it's being done. TEGNA's current cash flow has been sufficient to cover their debt obligations. They repaid $587 Million in 2015. Although, that was offset by $200 Million in new borrowing so, the Net reduction was $387 Million. And, large portions of that debt doesn't mature for several years. Yes, I would agree that indirectly the buyouts help in regards to their debt. But, I wouldn't necessarily portray them as teetering on the brink of insolvency. Let me give you analogy. Now before I start I will say this isn't the best analogy...it's a bit apples vs. oranges...but, I think it might help illustrate what I'm saying better. Let's say I have stable employment/income, modest savings, a decent sized "debt load" in the form of a mortgage and car loan. Although I have those debt obligations all my bills are paid on time and there is still some free cash left cover, etc., etc. One day after analyzing discretionary spending in the household budget I decide that some expenses are on an upward trajectory and need to be reigned in a bit. This doesn't mean I can't afford them or pay all of my current bills, it's more of a long-term budgeting thing. So, I make the decision to pay an ETF (or, "buyout") to get out of the remainder of my Cable TV contract and replace that with a cheaper month-to-month streaming TV service. Likewise, I do the same for my cell phone service paying an ETF (or, "buyout") to move to a cheaper service. Now, does this mean I'm on the brink of foreclosure or bankruptcy? No, not by any means. Sometimes things are simply done to control costs because the person (or, persons) in charge of the budget feels it's the fiscally responsible thing to do. A similar principal can be applied when looking at the business world. Now am I a fan of people being forced out of their job...Heck No! And, yes I'm aware that my analogy compares peoples livelihood to discretionary tv/phone service...again it's not the greatest analogy. The point I'm trying to make is that sometimes X doesn't always equal Y. Just because I cut expenses out of my personal budget doesn't mean necessarily I'm struggling. And, likewise the same can be said for a buisness It's considered "supplemental income" by the IRS so it's subject to a higher withholding when the check is issued. Compubit already touched on this above but, most employers choose to withhold a flat 25% for the Feds on a single check (versus using an aggregate method when "supplemental income" is paid out on regular paychecks.) Now, once you add in any state and local withholding you could easily push 40%...I know first hand. With that said it's important to note that all income is taxed the same at filing time. These are just withholding rates. So, It all comes out in the wash at tax filing time.
  24. Is it anymore confusing than "KQED Plus" (KQEH) on channel 54? If Bay Area viewers can figure out the difference between KQED and "KQED Plus" I don't think they'd have an issue with KTVU and a "KTVU Plus" (KICU) on channel 36. And, yes I am aware that KQED and KQEH simulcast each others signals. Also, they could just "neighborhood" all their channels under a common virtual channel number, like say 2. It's not like they don't have a pair of sister stations doing that or anything. As to the spectrum auction question. I don't see it. "Worse case scenario" they participate and channel share with themselves. So, they'd still keep the KICU license and virtual channel assignment. It would be ridiculously stupid (for anyone) to surrender the license and just move the programming to a subchannel if you have a duopoly in the market. You could accomplish the same thing by channel sharing with yourself and keep the benefits that come with keeping the license. I think you nailed it. It's a new branding/imaging to align the two stations. Oddly, and this is more to TVNewsLover's question above. But, I'm not sure any other Fox O&O could pull off the "[Call Letter] Plus" branding. Fox for pretty much it's entire history has de-emphasized Call Letters in favor of "Fox [number]" branding. The fact that the KTVU calls still hold value and that Fox apparently sees that kind of speaks volumes to the KTVU brand. But, I do have one question. Is it safe to assume that MyNetworkTV will be staying on KRON? The affiliation agreement is/was up in Aug./Sept. of this year. It seems odd for Fox to hold out this long, not move MNT to their station and choose to re-brand KICU as "KTVU Plus". I suppose they could still have MNT programming even with the "KTVU Plus" branding. But, The timing seems odd...you know what mean.
  25. The offers were made a little over 6 weeks ago. By law employers must give workers over age 40 at least 45 days (when offers are made to a group) to consider an early retirement offer under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. Employees also have 7 days to revoke an agreement after signing it. So, it's possible they could have known approximately 5 weeks ago some of the employees that would be taking the offer(s). On the flip side it's possible that they didn't know some of the employees that would be taking the offer(s) until approximately a week ago. In any event they knew who offers were made to several weeks ago and could plan accordingly in the event offers were accepted. They remain employed. Although, (as rkolsen posted) Early Retirement Offer(s)/Buyout(s) tend to be a prelude to layoffs. So, if you are given an offer and refuse you could possibly be laid off with a less favorable severance down the road. However, it is also worth noting that employers can't just lay off employees based on age (or, race, gender, etc). And, disparate impact prevents protected classes from being disproportionatly impacted. So, it's possible for an older employee to weather potential layoffs even after rejecting an early retirement offer. Most (but not all) employers will usually state if layoffs may occur in the event there are not enough takers of the early retirement buyouts. This way they can "juice" participation in the buyouts and protect themselves a bit from any future litigation by being up front about the possibility of layoffs. IMO I believe TEGNA is simply trying to reduce their payroll (and, pension) obligations. So, I personally don't expect any mass layoffs shortly thereafter. I can almost guarantee you they have a non-compete agreement... Especially, the on air talent. I'd be shocked if they didn't. The point is to get them off the payroll. And, more importantly not add more years of service thereby increasing any future pension obligations. It might be harsh but, the company trying to create some certainty around it's payroll, pension (and other benefits) obligations for these employees. By rehiring them it would essentially negate any (or, most of the) benefits received from the employee taking the early retirement offer. No, they don't get both. They are trading any future earnings in exchange for the buyout offer. So, if employee A has 2 years left on an agreement they would be forgoing that in exchange for the 2 weeks/per year (plus, some continuation of benefits I'm sure.) The same would apply for an employee without an agreement. They'd be forgoing continued employment in exchange for the buyout offer. I'd bet money that the on-air talent (if not all employees) are getting non-compete agreements. That includes the "No non-compete" States. You write the agreement as so it is entered into and governed by the laws of your principal place of business. In this case that would be Virginia where non-compete agreements are legal and enforceable...so, problem solved.
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