|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
|Industry||Broadcast television, radio|
|Key people||Peter Liguori
(president/CEO of the Tribune Company)
(president of Tribune Broadcasting)
Tribune Broadcasting (legal name: Tribune Broadcasting Company II, LLC) is a subsidary of the Tribune Company, a Chicago, Illinois-based media conglomerate; Tribune Broadcasting owns broadcast television and radio stations, and cable television and national digital subchannel networks throughout the United States.
- 1 History
- 2 Television production and distribution
- 3 Tribune-owned stations
- 4 Former Tribune-owned stations
- 5 Carriage controversies
- 6 References
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, most of the television properties acquired by the company prior to 1995 were independent stations. WGN-TV and WPIX are the only stations that Tribune has owned since their inceptions. Tribune also operated several local cable television systems from 1977 to 1985. In 1993, Tribune launched a regional cable news channel for the Chicago area called Chicagoland Television (CLTV). In November 1994, Tribune Broadcasting formed a partnership with several minority partners, including Quincy Jones, to form Qwest Broadcasting; Qwest operated as a technically separate company from Tribune (which owned stations in a few markets where Tribune owned stations, including WATL in Atlanta, which was operated alongside Tribune-owned WGNX); Tribune would later acquire the Qwest stations outright in November 1999.
From January 1995 to September 2006, Tribune Broadcasting was a partner in The WB Television Network, in a joint venture 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, most of Tribune's television properties were WB affiliates. On July 2, 1996, Tribune acquired Renaissance Broadcasting, which owned Fox- and WB-affiliated stations in several large and mid-sized markets. On January 24, 2006, Time Warner announced that it would partner with CBS Corporation to form a new network that would feature The WB and CBS-owned UPN's higher-rated shows mixed with newer series, called The CW Television Network. All but three of Tribune's 19 WB affiliates became affiliates of The CW on September 18, 2006, through ten-year agreements (the exceptions were in Philadelphia, Seattle and Atlanta, due to The CW affiliating with CBS-owned stations in those markets), though Tribune itself would not exercise an ownership stake in The CW as it did with The WB.
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 Oak Hill Capital Partners-controlled Local TV, LLC announced plans to collaborate in the formation of a "broadcast management company" (later named The Other Company); its Tribune Interactive division also operated the websites of its stations as part of the partnership.
On December 8, 2008, Tribune announced that it would voluntarily restructure its debt obligations under the protection of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court. As the company had sufficient funds to do so, Tribune continued to operate its newspaper publishing and broadcasting, and interactive businesses without interruption during the restructuring.
On January 1, 2011, Tribune launched the digital broadcast network Antenna TV, a service that features a variety of classic television series and movies, including programming from Sony Pictures Television and D.L. Taffner Entertainment. On May 13, 2013, Tribune announced that it would buy a 50% stake in the This TV digital broadcast network from fellow Chicago-based media company Weigel Broadcasting, Tribune took over operational duties for the network on November 1, 2013.
On July 1, 2013, Tribune announced that it would purchase the 19 stations owned by Local TV, LLC outright for $2.75 billion; the purchase would expand the amount of Big Three network affiliates in its portfolio from one to 10, once the purchase is finalized (New Orleans station WGNO – an ABC affiliate – is currently Tribune's only station affiliated with one of the three pre-1986 networks), as well as form duopolies involving stations in Denver and St. Louis where the two companies maintained local marketing agreements. In order to prevent conflicts with newspaper cross-ownership restrictions (specifically, with Daily Press and The Morning Call), three stations involved in the acquisition – the Norfolk, Virginia duopoly of WTKR and WGNT, and Scranton, Pennsylvania station WNEP-TV – will be sold to the shill company Dreamcatcher Broadcasting and operated by Tribune under shared service agreements.
Television production and distribution
Tribune Entertainment was Tribune's television production, syndication and ad sales subsidary. Founded in the mid-1980s, this subsidiary produced and/or distributed several first-run syndicated programs including most notably Geraldo, Soul Train and U.S. Farm Report; Tribune Entertainment's production and syndication divisions were 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.
As of July 2013, Tribune Broadcasting currently owns 23 television stations located in 19 markets (including four duopolies). 22 of its stations are affiliated with each of the current post-1986 broadcast networks: seven are affiliated with Fox, 13 with The CW and two with MyNetworkTV; the only "Big Three" affiliate in its portfolio is ABC affiliate WGNO in New Orleans. It also owns the cable/satellite version of flagship station WGN-TV, known as WGN America (one of four superstations owned by Tribune, along with KTLA, KWGN-TV and WPIX); the Chicago-based regional cable news channel Chicagoland Television (CLTV); and maintains a 30% ownership interest in Food Network (the remaining controlling interest in that channel is held by Scripps Networks Interactive).
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.
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|
|City of License/Market||Station/
|Owned Since||Current Format|
Stations being acquired
These are the stations being acquired from Local TV LLC, pending final approval from the Federal Communications Commission:
|City of license/Market||Station||Channel
|Huntsville - Decatur, AL||WHNT-TV||19 (19)||CBS|
|Fort Smith - Fayetteville, AR||KFSM-TV||5 (18)||CBS|
|Fort Collins, Colorado||KFCT
(satellite of KDVR)
|Des Moines||WHO-TV||13 (13)||NBC|
|Moline, Illinois (Quad Cities)||WQAD-TV||8 (38)||ABC|
|Kansas City, Missouri||WDAF-TV||4 (34)||Fox|
|St. Louis||KTVI||2 (43)||Fox|
|High Point - Greensboro -
|Cleveland - Akron||WJW||8 (8)||Fox|
|Oklahoma City||KFOR-TV||4 (27)||NBC|
|Scranton - Wilkes Barre||WNEP-TV||16 (50)||ABC|
|Salt Lake City||KSTU||13 (28)||Fox|
|Norfolk - Portsmouth, VA
|WGNT||27 (50)||The CW|
Former Tribune-owned stations
Stations are arranged by state and city of license.
|City of license/Market||Station||Channel
TV / DT
|Years owned||Current Status|
|Atlanta||WGNX||46 (19)||1983–1999||CBS affiliate, WGCL-TV, 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, KDLH, 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|
|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|
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-TV was pulled from Optimum West systems in Colorado and Wyoming. Cablevision accused Tribune of demanding higher carriage fees (that Cablevision claimed totaled in the tens of millions of dollars) to be used to help pay off debt, and alleged that it illegally bundled carriage agreements for WPIX and Hartford's WTIC-TV (which was initially unaffected, unlike sister station WCCT, due to a separate carriage agreement but was later pulled from Cablevision's Connecticut systems as well), which the company denied, stating its approach complied with FCC regulations. The stations and WGN America (which was also dropped due to the dispute) were restored through a new carriage agreement that was reached on October 26, following a plea by Connecticut State Senator Gayle Slossberg for the FCC to intervene in the dispute.
- "KWGN(TV) starts with a bang." Broadcasting, March 14, 1966, pg. 58. 
- "In brief." Broadcasting, November 14, 1980, pg. 34. 
- Tribune, minority group on TV station Qwest; new company's first buys are WATL-TV Atlanta and WNOL-TV New Orleans, Broadcasting & Cable, November 21, 1994. Retrieved July 20, 2013 from HighBeam Research.
- BREAKFAST BRIEFING // CHICAGO, Chicago Sun-Times, November 10, 1999. Retrieved July 23, 2013 from HighBeam Research.
- Tribune Broadcasting Joins with Warner Bros. to Launch Fifth Television Network, TheFreeLibrary.com. Retrieved 12-10-2010.
- Tribune Co. Looks to Boost Role in TV with Offer for Six Stations, Los Angeles Daily News, July 2, 1996. Retrieved July 20, 2013 from HighBeam Research.
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- Zell buys Tribune Co., Cubs to be sold, CNNMoney, April 3, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- "Tribune Interactive, Schurz in Web Deal". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Radio Daze: Tribune Gang Sets Out to Reinvent TV, Broadcasting & Cable, April 13, 2008.
- "Tribune and Local TV to Form Broadcast Management Company" (Press release). Tribune Company. 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- "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"
- 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.
- "Acquisition to make Tribune Co. largest U.S. TV station operator". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "Tribune to Put Local TV's WNEP Scranton, Norfolk Stations Up for Sale". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- Tribune Re-Launching Studio With Matt Cherniss at Helm, Broadcasting & Cable, March 19, 2013.
- Tribune Radio Network website
- 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.
- Tribune stations go dark on Cablevision, Variety, August 16, 2012.
- Spangler, Tom (17 August 2012). "Cablevision Charges Tribune With 'Illegally Tying' Stations Deals; Broadcaster Says Its Approach Is Lawful and Complies with FCC Good-Faith Rules". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Cablevision, Tribune end retrans spat, Variety, October 26, 2012.