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ABC Television Network and Affiliates Association Board of Governors Agree on Network-Affiliate Plan to Present to Entire ABC Affiliate Body

[via press release from ABC]


The ABC Television Network and the ABC's Affiliate Association Board of Governors have reached agreement on a plan that will frame the Network-Affiliate relationship for the next four years. The agreement was announced today jointly by Anne Sweeney co-chairman, Media Networks for The Walt Disney Company and President of Disney-ABC Television Group, and ABC Television Affiliates Association Chairman Deb McDermott. The new plan has been endorsed by the ABC Television Affiliates Association Board of Governors and will be submitted to and reviewed by the ABC Affiliate body, beginning this week.

ABC management -- including President of Operations and Administration Alex Wallau and Senior Vice President of Affiliate Relations John Rouse -- and the ABC Board of Governors collaborated on the plan. This third Network-Affiliate Plan is designed to enhance and strengthen the Network-Affiliate distribution system. It addresses ABC's request for financial support from its Affiliates for "Monday Night Football" and the concern of Affiliates for program exclusivity.

For its part, ABC will continue to receive a financial contribution from Affiliates for "Monday Night Football" and assurances on clearances. ABC also retains various repurposing rights. In addition, the plan builds in flexibility to revisit these issues during the four-year term, if necessary. For Affiliates, the agreement provides additional primetime inventory, guidelines covering repurposed Network programs and inventory guarantees.

"ABC is pleased that we have reached an agreement that is not only mutually beneficial to both the Network and the Affiliates, but was achieved through a collaborative and constructive process," said Ms. Sweeney. "Through the diligent efforts of Deb McDermott and ABC management, there is now a plan in place that enables us all to better meet the challenges of the increasingly complex television landscape."

"This new plan is a win-win for both the Affiliates and the Network. It provides a mutually beneficial framework enabling both parties to move forward together with a strong strategy for the future," said Ms. McDermott, Chairman of the ABC Television Affiliates Association and President of Young Broadcasting, Inc.

The ABC Television Affiliates Association Board of Governors includes representatives of both major station groups and smaller stations throughout the U.S. Members of the Board include Chairman Deb McDermott, President of Young Broadcasting, Inc.; Paul LaCamera, President & General Manager of WCVB-TV; William Peterson, Vice President, Station Operations, The E. W. Scripps Co.; Kathy Clements, President & General Manager, WFAA-TV; Darrell Brown, Vice President & General Manager, KMGH-TV; Ray Cole, President & COO, WOI-TV; Jim Conschafter, Vice President of Broadcast Stations, Media General, Inc.; George DeVault, Jr., President, Holston Valley Broadcasting; Alan Frank, President, Post-Newsweek Stations; John Kueneke, President, News Press & Gazette Broadcasting; Leon Long, Vice President & General Manager, WLOX; K. James Yager, Chief Executive Officer, Barrington Broadcasting Co., LLC; and Immediate Past Chair/Past President Bruce Baker, Executive Vice President, Television, Cox Broadcasting.

  [october 2004]  


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