Tribune TV Stations to Lead Affiliate Group of New Network
Long-Term Agreement Covers 16 Markets, Including NY, LA and Chicago
CHICAGO, January 24, 2006 -- Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB) today announced that it agreed to affiliate 16 of its television stations with a new broadcast network, The CW, being launched by Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation. The network will debut this fall and feature the best programs from The WB and UPN networks, both of which will cease operations in September 2006. Tribune stations in seven of the country�s Top 10 television markets will affiliate with the new network, including stations in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.
"This agreement is a great step forward for our TV group," said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune chairman and chief executive officer. "Our stations, the communities they serve, and Tribune shareholders will benefit from this long-term affiliation with a network powered by two large, successful studios owned by Time Warner and CBS Corporation."
Tribune owns and operates 26 TV stations in 22 markets across the country, including 19 affiliated with The WB Network. Under the agreement, 16 of those stations will join the new network:
WPIX-TV, New York; KTLA-TV, Los Angeles; WGN-TV, Chicago; WLVI-TV, Boston; KDAF-TV, Dallas; WBDC-TV, Washington, D.C.; KHWB-TV, Houston; WBZL-TV, Miami; KWGN-TV, Denver; KPLR-TV, St. Louis; KWBP-TV, Portland; WTTV-TV, Indianapolis; KSWB-TV, San Diego; WTXX-TV, Hartford; WNOL-TV, New Orleans; and WEWB-TV, Albany.
The CW network will provide 13 hours of prime-time programming to the newly affiliated stations: Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (EST/PST) and Sundays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (EST/PST). The network will also program weekday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (EST/PST), Sundays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and provide a five-hour Saturday morning animation block. The WB Network will continue to operate until this fall, and Tribune�s affiliated stations will continue to air its programming.
"Tribune stations will serve as the major market distribution backbone for what will be a strong network competitor," said John Reardon, Tribune Broadcasting president. "The viewers and advertisers in the markets we serve will benefit."
Tribune and CBS own overlapping WB and UPN affiliates in seven markets: Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Miami and New Orleans. Tribune will be the affiliate in Boston, Dallas, Miami and New Orleans, and CBS will be the affiliate in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Seattle.
"We�re confident that the scale of our television group will enable us to continue to acquire quality syndicated programming, both first-run and off-network, for our three independent stations," said Reardon.
CONFERENCE CALL FOR INVESTORS/ANALYSTS
Tribune Company executives will hold a conference call to discuss the announcement today at 2 p.m. EST (1 p.m. CST). To access the call, dial 877/847-0401 (domestic) or 706/679-5349 at least 10 minutes prior to the 2 p.m. start. The conference ID is 4677035. Replays of the conference call will be available Jan. 24 through Jan. 31. To hear the replay, dial 800/642-1687 (domestic) or 706/645-9291 (international) and use access code 4677035. For more information about Tribune Company and Tribune Broadcasting, visit www.tribune.com.
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TRIBUNE (NYSE: TRB) is one of the country�s top media companies, operating businesses in publishing and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation�s top three markets. In publishing, Tribune operates 11 leading daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday, plus a wide range of targeted publications such as Spanish-language Hoy. The company�s broadcasting group operates 26 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago�s WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune�s print and broadcast properties and extend the company�s nationwide audience.