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The Tribune Broadcasting Company is a group of radio and television stations located throughout the United States which are owned and operated by the Tribune Company, a media conglomerate based in Chicago, Illinois and named for the flagship Chicago Tribune newspaper.
Tribune Broadcasting originated with the June 1924 purchase of radio station WDAP by the Chicago Tribune. The new owners changed the station's call letters to WGN, to match the Tribune 's slogan, "World's Greatest Newspaper." WGN Radio would launch a television station in Chicago, in April 1948. Two months later, the Tribune 's then-sibling newspaper in New York City, the Daily News, established its own television station, WPIX.
During the next six decades, Tribune Broadcasting (known originally as WGN, Incorporated, and from 1966 to 1981 as WGN Continental Broadcasting Company) would acquire radio and television stations throughout the United States. WGN-TV and WPIX are the only stations Tribune has owned since their inceptions. Tribune also operated several local cable television systems from 1977 to 1985.
Tribune Broadcasting now has 23 television stations located in 19 markets (including four duopolies), and the cable/satellite version of WGN-TV, known as WGN America. In Chicago, Tribune also operates Chicagoland's Television (CLTV), a cable-only news channel, and has a controlling interest in Food Network. WGN Radio is the company's sole remaining radio station, and serves as the flagship station for a regional distribution service known as the Tribune Radio Network. () Its primary features are farm reports from longtime WGN agriculture broadcaster Orion Samuelson, and broadcasts of Chicago Cubs games.
From January 1995 to September 2006, Tribune Broadcasting was a partner in the WB Television Network, along with the Warner Bros. Television division of Time Warner. Tribune had an initial 12.5 percent ownership of the network at its beginning and later increased its stake to 22 percent, and most of Tribune's television properties were WB affiliates. On January 24, 2006, Time Warner announced that the WB network would merge with the CBS-owned United Paramount Network, forming a new network named the CW Television Network. All but three of Tribune's WB affiliates became affiliates of The CW on September 18, 2006, by ten-year agreements (the exceptions were in Philadelphia, Seattle, and Atlanta, due to CW affiliating with CBS-owned stations in those markets).
In April 2007, Tribune's broadcasting interests were included in the sale of the entire company to Chicago investor Sam Zell, who planned take the publicly traded company private. The deal was completed on December 20, 2007. ()
On December 21, 2007, Tribune and Local TV announced plans to collaborate in the formation of an as yet unnamed "broadcast management company". This new arrangement also manages a group of stations acquired by Local TV from the Fox Broadcasting Company during the third quarter of 2008.
On August 30, 2010, Tribune announced the formation of Antenna TV, a new digital subchannel network that would feature a variety of classic television programming and movies, including programming from Sony Pictures Television and D.L. Taffner. The new service began broadcasting on January 1, 2011.
Tribune's relations with the CW 
Beginning in July 2008, several Tribune-owned CW affiliates began to de-emphasize the network branding in favor of one with a stronger local identity, either on-air or through their websites (e.g., WPIX in New York re-branded from "CW 11" to "PIX 11"). The re-branding initiative lead to speculation that Tribune's overall relationship with the CW Television Network had become strained, particularly after Tribune's announcement of an affiliation shift at its KSWB-TV in San Diego from CW to Fox in the fall of 2008.
The following table lists the re-branding of 9 Tribune-owned CW affiliates:
|Market||Station||Former Branding||Current Branding||Other Notes|
|New York City||WPIX||CW 11||PIX 11||Upon the re-branding, the station became "PIX 11" (pronounced "picks"), utilizing a modernization of WPIX's classic "circle 11" logo.|
|Los Angeles||KTLA||KTLA 5, The CW||KTLA 5||With the branding change, KTLA would add a modernized version of its former "5" logo, which was used from 1980 to 1997.|
|Washington, D.C.||WDCW||The CW Washington||DC 50||The "DC 50" logo incorporates a silhouette of the Capitol Building dome.|
|Denver||KWGN-TV||CW 2||Colorado's Own Channel 2||KWGN was the first Tribune CW station to change branding, unveiling a "2" identity on July 7, 2008. Between March 2009 and Spring 2010, the station branded as "The Deuce" in an attempt to attract a younger audience.|
|Miami||WSFL-TV||CW South Florida||SFL-TV||WSFL-TV branded as "SFL" from 2008 to 2012, with the "S" of the logo resembling the nameplate of the co-owned South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper.|
|St. Louis||KPLR-TV||CW 11||KPLR 11||For a time after this branding change, the station returned a Gateway Arch motif seen in previous KPLR logos.|
|Indianapolis||WTTV||CW 4||Indiana's 4||The station's red-and-white logo features the stars-and-torch pattern found on the Flag of Indiana.|
|Hartford||WCCT-TV||CW 20||WCCT-TV||The station, as WTXX, used the 'txx' branding from Fall 2008 to March 2010, when they adopted "The CT" branding, which remained until March 2012 (its call sign changed to WCCT-TV in June 2010; this became the branding as well in March 2012).|
|New Orleans||WNOL-TV||New Orleans' CW 38||NOLA 38||"NOLA" is an abbreviated reference to New Orleans, Louisiana; a fleur-de-lis, a common symbol of the city and state's French heritage, is incorporated in the station's logo.|
Three Tribune-owned CW stations that dropped their CW branding would later reinstate it: Houston's KIAH, when changing its call sign from KHCW in 2008, adopted a "Channel 39" branding before rebranding back to "CW 39" in March 2011; Dallas' KDAF would also change branding in 2008, from "CW 33" to "KDAF 33" and later to "The 33," before reverting to "CW 33" in 2011. KRCW-TV in Portland, Oregon, which had branded "Portland's CW" at the network's launch, became "NW 32 TV" in 2009; it reinstated CW branding as "Portland's CW 32" in 2012. Some of these stations (including one that has always used a non-CW branding, Chicago's WGN-TV) still employ limited branding references to the CW, either as a minor addition to their logos or as a passing verbal mention in programming promotions (e.g. "Home of The CW").
On December 8, 2008, Tribune announced that it is voluntarily restructuring its debt obligations under the protection of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court. The company will continue to operate its media businesses during the restructuring, including publishing its newspapers and managing its television stations and interactive properties without interruption, and has sufficient cash to do so.
On September 8, 2008, with the blessing of the network, Tribune-owned St. Louis affiliate KPLR-TV, shifted their 9PM weeknight newscast to 7PM, moving the CW's prime time schedule to the 8-10PM block (Central Time Zone) instead of the usual 7-9PM berth. The move had 3 intentions: to counterprogram other networks' late-prime time shows with younger-skewing CW programs, to air a newscast at a timeslot (7PM) where no local news had aired in the St. Louis market, and to move their newscast away from the higher-rated 9PM news on Fox affiliate KTVI. The news divisions of KPLR and KTVI would merge one month later as part of a local marketing agreement between Tribune and Local TV LLC, KTVI's owner. Tribune's Denver CW affiliate, KWGN-TV, which is also operated by Local TV (through a LMA with KDVR), would make a similar move in 2009. WNOL-TV in New Orleans became the 3rd Tribune-owned CW affiliate to shift network programming, doing so in June 2010 after canceling their 9PM news (reruns of The Simpsons now fill WNOL's 7-8PM slot).
Tribune Entertainment 
Tribune Entertainment was Tribune Broadcasting's television production and syndication division. Launched during the mid-1980s, this subsidiary was shut down in December 2007. On March 19, 2013, Tribune Company announced the relaunch of the division as Tribune Studios (not to be confused with the Los Angeles studio facility that formerly held the same name until its sale by Tribune to private equity firm Hudson Capital in 2008, and was subsequently renamed Sunset Bronson Studios). The new company will produce programs primarily for Tribune Broadcasting's television stations and WGN America, some of which will receive national distribution.
Tribune-owned stations 
Television stations 
Stations are listed alphabetically by state and city of license.
|City of license/Market||Station||Channel
|Owned Since||Primary affiliation|
|Los Angeles||KTLA||5 (31)||1985||The CW|
|Sacramento - Stockton - Modesto||KTXL||40 (40)||1997||Fox|
|San Diego||KSWB-TV||69 (19)||1996||Fox|
|Denver||KWGN-TV||2 (34)||1966||The CW|
|Hartford - New Haven, CT||WTIC-TV||61 (31)||1997||Fox|
|Waterbury, Connecticut||WCCT-TV||20 (20)||2001||The CW|
|Washington, D.C.||WDCW||50 (50)||1999||The CW|
|Miami - Fort Lauderdale||WSFL-TV||39 (19)||1997||The CW|
|Chicago||WGN-TV **||9 (19)||1948||The CW|
|Bloomington, Indiana||WTTV||4 (48)||2002||The CW|
(satellite of WTTV)
|29 (29)||2002||The CW|
|New Orleans||WGNO||26 (26)||1983||ABC|
|WNOL-TV||38 (15)||1999||The CW|
|Grand Rapids - Battle Creek -
|St. Louis||KPLR-TV||11 (26)||2003||The CW|
|New York City||WPIX **||11 (11)||1948||The CW|
|Salem - Portland, OR||KRCW-TV||32 (33)||2003||The CW|
|York - Harrisburg -
Lancaster - Lebanon, PA
|Dallas - Fort Worth||KDAF||33 (32)||1997||The CW|
|Houston||KIAH||39 (38)||1995||The CW|
|Tacoma - Seattle||KCPQ||13 (13)||1999||Fox|
Radio station 
|City of License/Market||Station/
|Owned Since||Current Format|
Former Tribune-owned stations 
Stations are arranged by state and city of license.
Television stations 
|City of license/Market||Station||Channel
TV / DT
|Years owned||Current Status|
|46 / 19||1983–1999||CBS affiliate owned by Meredith Corporation|
|WATL||36 / 25||1999–2006||MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Gannett Company|
|Cambridge - Boston, MA||WLVI-TV||56 / 41||1994–2006||CW affiliate owned by Sunbeam Television|
|Duluth, MN - Superior, WI||KDAL-TV
|3 / 33||1960–1978||CBS affiliate owned by Malara Broadcasting
(operated under LMA by Granite Broadcasting)
|Schenectady - Albany - Troy, NY||WEWB/WCWN||45 / 43||1999–2006||CW affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group|
Radio stations 
|AM Stations||FM Stations|
|City of License/Market||Station/
|Years owned||Current Status|
|1975–1996||owned by Entercom Communications|
|1975–1996||owned by CBS Radio|
|Denver – Boulder||KEZW-1430||owned by Entercom Communications|
|owned by Entercom Communications|
|KOSI-101.1||owned by Entercom Communications|
|Bridgeport, Connecticut||WICC-600||1967–1989||owned by Cumulus Media|
|Chicago||WFMT-98.7||1968–1970||owned by Window to the World Communications|
|Duluth, MN - Superior, WI||KDAL-610||1960–1981||owned by Midwest Communications|
|New York City||WPIX-FM/WQCD-101.9
|1963–1997||owned by CBS Radio|
Carriage controversies 
April 2012 DirecTV dispute 
At midnight ET on April 1, 2012, Tribune's carriage agreement with DirecTV ended, resulting in all 23 Tribune Broadcasting-owned stations and WGN America to be pulled from the satellite provider at midnight in the respective time zones of the markets carrying the broadcast stations. Tribune was seeking retransmission consent payments from DirecTV, which under previous carriage agreements, the company received for carriage of WGN America, but not for its local broadcast stations. On April 3, 2012, DirecTV filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission claiming that Tribune Company representatives had negotiated in bad faith and that the company had inappropriately transferred control over its broadcast licenses to its bankruptcy creditors. The dispute lasted four days, ending on April 5, 2012, when the two companies reached a new carriage agreement for the Tribune Broadcasting stations and WGN America (the stations were restored to DirecTV subscribers at 9 p.m. ET that evening); DirecTV's complaint to the FCC against Tribune was dropped as part of the agreement.
August 2012 Cablevision dispute 
At midnight ET on August 16, 2012, Tribune's carriage agreement with Cablevision expired, resulting in WPIX, WCCT, and WPHL being pulled from Cablevision systems in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Additionally, KWGN was pulled from Optimum West systems in Colorado and Wyoming.
- "KWGN(TV) starts with a bang." Broadcasting, March 14, 1966, pg. 58. 
- "In brief." Broadcasting, November 14, 1980, pg. 34. 
- "Tribune and Local TV to Form Broadcast Management Company" (Press release). Tribune Company. 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "Tribune Company and Local TV have entered into a letter of intent to create a third-party broadcast management company which will provide shared services to all of the stations Local TV and Tribune Company own, respectively."
- Albiniak, Paige (August 30, 2010). "Tribune Launching Classic TV Multicast Network". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- Malone, Michael (May 14, 2013). "Tribune Replaces Weigel As Partner on This TV". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Tribune gives CW the cold shoulder". Variety. September 1, 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "XETV, KSWB Battle For Fox Affiliation In San Diego".
- From Denver Post (March 18, 2009)
- "'Deuce' is dead, new GM a class act", from denverpost.com, 4/14/2010
- 
- "Tribune Company to Voluntarily Restructure Debt Under Chapter 11" (Press release). Tribune Company. 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-12-08. "Tribune Company to Voluntarily Restructure Debt Under Chapter 11. Publishing, Interactive and Broadcasting Businesses to Continue Operations. Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field Not Part of Chapter 11 Filing; Monetization Efforts to Continue"
- Tribune Broadcasting Combines WGN, CLTV, Mediaweek, February 4, 2009
- [dead link]
- KPLR, KTVI to combine news operations
- 2 Colorado TV stations to combine some operations
- "WNOL drops 9 p.m. newscast, 'TMZ' moves to WGNO", from New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 7, 2010
- Tribune Re-Launching Studio With Matt Cherniss at Helm, Broadcasting & Cable, March 19, 2013.
- Subscribers to lose programming after Tribune Broadcasting fails to agree on settlement with DirecTV, Fox News Channel (via the Associated Press), April 1, 2012.
- DirecTV files FCC complaint against Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business, April 2, 2012.
- Tribune Co. reaches deal with DirecTV -- in time for Cubs opener, Chicago Tribune, April 5, 2012.