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The Pax TV—i—ION metamorphosis is very interesting to look at in retrospect.   You could argue that Pax TV was a diginet 25 years ahead of its time with a lineup heavy on reruns (albeit with

It should be noted that the Scripps/Katz networks and ION are all genre channels: Newsy -> all-news, no frills Grit -> westerns Laff -> sitcoms Bounce -> African Ame

I suspect that, in the coming days, a lot of the subchannels that are duplicated between Scripps-owned stations in the local division and the Scripps national muxes will move over for good. You have t

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Scripps had a webcast this morning about how they'll be operating going forward.

 

The only real revelation of the webcast was their rather casual dismissal of Qubo and Ion Plus. Adam Symson said that the services weren't "mature" compared to the Katz networks, and confirmed that the company will go Old Yeller on them so they can use their space for the Katz networks as planned. Basically, he brushed them off as worthless wastes of spectrum to be thrown away (and I guess they don't want their channels on their pre-existing spectrum either). Not what he actually said obviously, but that's what I got out of it.

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10 minutes ago, Adam MadMan said:

Scripps had a webcast this morning about how they'll be operating going forward.

 

The only real revelation of the webcast was their rather casual dismissal of Qubo and Ion Plus. Adam Symson said that the services weren't "mature" compared to the Katz networks, and confirmed that the company will go Old Yeller on them so they can use their space for the Katz networks as planned. Basically, he brushed them off as worthless wastes of spectrum to be thrown away (and I guess they don't want their channels on their pre-existing spectrum either). Not what he actually said obviously, but that's what I got out of it.

Will Qubo & Ion Plus be closed or converted into digital services?

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3 hours ago, JCB4TV said:

Will Qubo & Ion Plus be closed or converted into digital services?

We don't know yet. All we know is that Qubo and Ion Plus are going away.

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3 hours ago, JCB4TV said:

Will Qubo & Ion Plus be closed or converted into digital services?

 

Ion Plus; guaranteed to be closed. Their schedule is just second runs of crime series and Cancon already on the main Ion, so the 'waste of spectrum' comment is on the nose. Qubo has pretty much become the last resort network for children's producers to take their shows, so outside of mass E/I credits to keep the main Ion schedule kids-free and little cable/sat pickup, it's probably done too.

 

And not commented but for sure done; Ion Shop. The days of all-informercial channels are best left to cable systems now. Also expect them to reel back paid religious time solely to Sunday mornings.

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6 minutes ago, LexTVandRadio said:

Anything going to change with the new owners of the divested/INYO stations? 

 

It's probably still going to be ION Television.

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11 minutes ago, channel2 said:

re: Qubo

 

Dozens of Canadian media executives cried out in terror...

 

I'm not sure why Scripps didn't at least attempt to sell it to Litton. The distribution deals baked into the original charter have some value.

 

It seems to me that ION is moving toward the same category as MyNetworkTV, as it will be strictly syndicated primetime programming blocks and local media partners will fill in the rest of the content, likely with locally produced content and syndicated repeats (e.g. The List, Right This Minute).

 

From a Denver perspective, I'm not sure why Scripps acquired KCDO. Grit, like NewsNet and significantly less so than TEGNA's Quest, doesn't exactly attract a wide, relevant audience. Even if their target demo is men between 25 and 55 years old, that's pretty much in line with the sweet spot of a lot of first run network programs anyway, and those networks aren't producing new westerns. Also, KCDO-TV is the only full power station, O&O or otherwise, for Grit broadcasting on it's main channel... I'm wondering if this acquisition has more to do with ATSC 3.0. KMGH has had signal issues on their main tower due to VHF interference, but that was solved when the signal was duplicated on UHF KZCO-LD (though I'm not quite sure why Scripps didn't piggy back a UHF simulcast onto 7.4 like KUSA did on KTVD's UHF signal).

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I can't imagine Scripps would've been excited about Qubo eating up spectrum on their new stations if they didn't own it...

 

The KCDO deal doesn't make a lot of sense, but I suppose Scripps thought Grit deserved a .1 here because we're Out West.

 

As for the Katz-Univision deal, the press release does say the migration will happen over the next five years...I'm sure Scripps's thinking is like Disney's seeming patience with regards to Marvel screen rights reversion...

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28 minutes ago, channel2 said:

I can't imagine Scripps would've been excited about Qubo eating up spectrum on their new stations if they didn't own it...

 

The KCDO deal doesn't make a lot of sense, but I suppose Scripps thought Grit deserved a .1 here because we're Out West.

 

As for the Katz-Univision deal, the press release does say the migration will happen over the next five years...I'm sure Scripps's thinking is like Disney's seeming patience with regards to Marvel screen rights reversion...

 

Lmao! I'll tell you what Grit looks like after I look at the book.

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7 hours ago, Adam MadMan said:

Scripps had a webcast this morning about how they'll be operating going forward.

 

The only real revelation of the webcast was their rather casual dismissal of Qubo and Ion Plus. Adam Symson said that the services weren't "mature" compared to the Katz networks, and confirmed that the company will go Old Yeller on them so they can use their space for the Katz networks as planned.

 

 

Honesly not surprised about Ion Plus -- it's basically Ion Television 2, and they can easily spread the few shows it airs across its networks -- specifically and especially Ion.

 

I'm more focused on Symson's thoughts on Qubo. I'm honesly surprised he would think that Qubo doesn't fit his vision of Scripps networks as "mature" when Laff is one of them (just watch it's promos--they scream [funny but] immature). I mean no, duh Qubo's not mature - it's a network for children. Qubo is a network that still can succeed across the kids demographics and (more importantly) still make them money. Unlike some of the other networks like Grit.

I'm sure by "mature" he meant "for adults only" but that didn't stop Ion Media from running it all these years alongside both Ions.  

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13 minutes ago, Action Newsroom said:

 

 

Honesly not surprised about Ion Plus -- it's basically Ion Television 2, and they can easily spread the few shows it airs across its networks -- specifically and especially Ion.

 

I'm more focused on Symson's thoughts on Qubo. I'm honesly surprised he would think that Qubo doesn't fit his vision of Scripps networks as "mature" when Laff is one of them (just watch it's promos--they scream [funny but] immature). I mean no, duh Qubo's not mature - it's a network for children. Qubo is a network that still can succeed across the kids demographics and (more importantly) still make them money. Unlike some of the other networks like Grit.

I'm sure by "mature" he meant "for adults only" but that didn't stop Ion Media from running it all these years alongside both Ions.  

When he said "mature", I'm pretty sure he meant "not grown as a brand". Of course, his company decided they don't want to grow the brand, and have put it in the line of corporate fire, like in those stereotypical Mexican executions you'd see on TV.

 

And as for the whole kids thing, Symson said in that same call that he wants diginets to go for a younger audience - which makes the Qubo decision all the more baffling, at least to me. Even if the brand isn't that desirable, Nickelodeon was in a similar state in the early 80s before it turned around under Viacom. Obviously, the times are different now, but it still seems wrong that they're trying to go "younger", yet have decided to leave the youngest viewers of the bunch to digital services such as Netflix and YouTube, like they want over-the-air TV to die off.

 

Basically, it just makes Symson's talk of "going younger" seem like the usual insincere corporate speak, which I'm 99.9999% sure it is.

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Just now, Adam MadMan said:

When he said "mature", I'm pretty sure he meant "not grown as a brand". Of course, his company decided they don't want to grow the brand, and have put it in the line of corporate fire, like in those stereotypical Mexican executions you'd see on TV.

 

And as for the whole kids thing, Symson said in that same call that he wants diginets to go for a younger audience - which makes the Qubo decision all the more baffling, at least to me. Even if the brand isn't that desirable, Nickelodeon was in a similar state in the early 80s before it turned around under Viacom. Obviously, the times are different now, but it still seems wrong that they're trying to go "younger", yet have decided to leave the youngest viewers of the bunch to digital services such as Netflix and YouTube, like they want over-the-air TV to die off.

 

The thing about Qubo is that Scripps would likely have to invest big bucks into it to make it even remotely competitive. That would mean spending big on original programming that they'd either produce in-house or otherwise lock down all the rights to. There would also likely be minimal help from the syndication market, since most of the worthwhile content (at least, animation-wise) is owned by Disney, WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS and NBCUniversal, and I can't imagine most of those companies are all that eager to help. They could perhaps look into old TGIF shows or what have you but I can't imagine they come cheap.

 

Remember The Hub? Not even Hasbro had the acumen or the willingness to spend big to make that network competitive. Were it not for My Little Pony, The Hub would've been even more of a flop than it ended up being.

 

I'm also under the impression that the TV business has more or less given up on children's shows on linear. Cartoon Network has basically packed it in (if only they hadn't ditched the multi-generational angle they had in their salad days!). The Disney Channel and its offshoots seem to be dying on the vine. Nickelodeon is still one of ViacomCBS's crown jewels and that NFL simulcast indicates some sort of self-preservation instinct. The fact that they have so eagerly flogged their '90s heyday and decided that we didn't have our fill of Rugrats in 1999 helps.

 

Scripps bought ION because it's cheap and hugely profitable. Qubo will never be a factor without significant investment, and reruns of 20-year-old Nelvana shows aren't going to cut it.

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12 minutes ago, Adam MadMan said:

he said "mature", I'm pretty sure he meant "not grown as a brand". Of course, his company decided they don't want to grow the brand, and have put it in the line of corporate fire, like in those stereotypical Mexican executions you'd see on TV.

"Grown as a brand", "for adults only"? They sound about the same to me.

 

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3 hours ago, Jakob said:

We have a date! Ion Plus, Qubo and Ion Shop will be going away on February 28.

 

https://scripps.com/press-releases/scripps-takes-first-steps-to-realize-ion-synergies-with-multicast-networks-move/

Will the Inyo stations be obligated to take the Katz subnets, or will they be free to add new subnets on their spectrum?

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2 hours ago, CircleSeven said:

It's going to be a long wait before we see those Katz Nets to the Ion spectrum.

 

The Univision carriage deal of the nets doesn't end until 2024.

I wonder whether Univision would be willing to end the deal early in several markets. One market I see would be Washington, DC where Univision hosts Nexstar on RF15 as potentially clearing Grit and Bounce could make room for WDVM move into DC. Also, the other Scripps subnets air in DC on WRZB-LD and should move to WPXW in the spring.2021-01-14.png.51c959aa4608f8eb219bf5de130fe6ff.png

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1 hour ago, channel2 said:

I'm also under the impression that the TV business has more or less given up on children's shows on linear. Cartoon Network has basically packed it in (if only they hadn't ditched the multi-generational angle they had in their salad days!). The Disney Channel and its offshoots seem to be dying on the vine. Nickelodeon is still one of ViacomCBS's crown jewels and that NFL simulcast indicates some sort of self-preservation instinct. The fact that they have so eagerly flogged their '90s heyday and decided that we didn't have our fill of Rugrats in 1999 helps.

 

Scripps bought ION because it's cheap and hugely profitable. Qubo will never be a factor without significant investment, and reruns of 20-year-old Nelvana shows aren't going to cut it.

It's pretty much a certainty after this next retransmission cycle, Disney Channel and Disney XD are done. They've already killed the channels in Europe, Australia and Asia for a Disney+ focus, and it's only accelerating since COVID-19 (the only advantage Disney Channel has right now is its live-action shows are closed-set by design). Cartoon Network is losing product to HBO Max, and Nick is surviving on SpongeBob reruns and stunts.

 

Qubo also tried the multi-gen strategy with the Filmation library earlier in their history, but for the most part the nostalgia of He-Man was of the 'only thing on for kids at the time of day' type of nostalgia rather than it being good, so it died off.

But what did kill off Qubo was the horrid management of the 'i for Infomercial' era of Ion which decided to go hard on must-carry of their main network, but shrugging off carriage of the subchannel networks when there was plenty of room for carriage, despite plenty of viewer demand for it at the time. Once the digital transition came and other station groups and network owners argued for 'main channel/subchannel' carriage, it was just another bottom-barrel subchannel like RTV or TheCoolTV

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It really is something how thoroughly MeTV eviscerated RTV...

 

Cartoon Network is losing product to HBO Max in large part because AT&T is starving their still-tremendously-lucrative cable networks of resources. Nickelodeon has had their heads up their asses for the last 15 years or so and has spent most of the last decade blasting the sort of "hey, remember us?" messaging typical of organizations that are deathly ill (MGM, pre-Eisner Disney, and pre-Turner Hanna-Barbera all come to mind here). The one hit cartoon they've squeaked out since Avatar was quickly embroiled in scandal. I'm so bothered that that asshole turned Dexter's Lab and PPG to shit, AND co-created Trixie Lulamoon.

 

SpongeBob has literally outlived its creator and from the sound of it the quality of the animation has improved over the last few years, which is good at least.

 

The Classic Media catalog actually had some neat stuff in it (Rocky and Bullwinkle, Underdog) but they didn't plumb THAT deep apparently.

 

Truthfully, with the cable bundle severely ailing, I feel like Scripps has an opening to make Qubo competitive, but of course, that takes money, and whatever in-house advantage they'd have isn't there anymore, because they sold it in 2010...that being Peanuts!

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This move reinforces that the Ion transmitters are acting more like a national digital multiplex licensee in a European-style DTT system than anything that exists in the US. About all that's missing is one national channel number.

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