[03/16/06 - 12:00 AM]
The CW and Pappas Telecasting Companies Announce Long-Term Television Station Affiliation Agreements

[via press release from The CW]


America's Fifth Broadcast Network Increases National Coverage To More Than 62% Of The Country

Pappas Telecasting Stations In Greensboro, Fresno, Des Moines, Omaha, Lincoln, Reno, Columbus (GA), Yuma and North Platte Join Rapidly Growing CW Affiliate Line-Up

Pappas Telecasting To Become Third Largest CW Affiliate Group Based On Number Of Stations

The CW and Pappas Telecasting Companies announced today the signing of long-term affiliation agreements for Pappas Telecasting's television stations in Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, Fresno-Visalia, Des Moines-Ames, Omaha, Lincoln & Hastings-Kearney, Reno, Columbus (GA), Yuma-El Centro and North Platte.

The addition of these nine Pappas Telecasting stations increases The CW's national coverage to more than 62% of the country. America's fifth broadcast network has affiliates in 19 of the Top 20 markets and 26 in the Top 30.

The newly signed affiliates are: WTWB-TV Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NC; KFRE-TV Fresno-Visalia, CA; KPWB-TV Des Moines-Ames, IA; KXVO-TV Omaha, NE; KWBL-TV (cable) Lincoln & Hastings-Kearney, NE; KREN-TV Reno, NV; WLGA-TV Columbus, GA; KWUB-TV (cable) Yuma-El Centro, AZ; and KWPL-TV (cable) North Platte, NE.

These stations are in the 47th, 56th, 73rd, 75th, 103rd, 112th, 127th, 170th and 209th largest markets in the country, respectively, and represent 2.6% of total U.S. TV households. WLGA-TV is currently a UPN affiliate and the eight other stations are all currently affiliates of The WB.

Harry J. Pappas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pappas Telecasting Companies, said: "Pappas Telecasting has made a ten year commitment to The CW with nine of our finest TV stations because all the elements for success are inherent in this powerful combination of resources, human and material. The group of stations represents nearly twice as many as were previously affiliated with UPN and the WB. While the combined 'best of programs' Fall 2006 launch schedule promises a terrific initial audience-grabbing performance, it is the sustainability of a winning primetime schedule that the Warner Brothers Entertainment and CBS Corporation alliance well assures. When we also considered the track record of Leslie Moonves and his constitutional inability to accept anything less than victory, we knew that this was an historic opportunity for our company. This is not about seizing the moment; this is about becoming genuine partners for decades to come with great winners like Leslie Moonves, Nancy Tellem, Barry Meyer, Bruce Rosenblum, John Maatta, Dawn Ostroff, and so many others. We are proud to be aligned with them all."

John Maatta, Chief Operating Officer, The CW, commented: "Today's announcement of these long-term affiliation agreements with Pappas Telecasting Companies marks another important milestone in The CW's drive to secure the strongest line-up of stations. Harry Pappas' remarkable success as a broadcaster and entrepreneur is grounded in making smart, strategic business decisions that enhance the service his company provides to his audiences and advertisers, while at the same time building the value of his properties. Affiliating with The CW is a perfect fit with this operating philosophy and the set of principles that have guided Harry throughout his career. It also gives Pappas Telecasting the third greatest number of CW affiliates, after Tribune and CBS. It's a pleasure and a privilege to be partnered with Pappas Telecasting."

Dennis J. Davis, President, Pappas Telecasting Companies, commented: "We are excited to have the opportunity to join forces with the new CW network. We are looking forward to being part of a network driven by the exceptional talents at both CBS and Warner Brothers Entertainment and the many admirable abilities they bring to this new venture."

Added Howard H. Shrier, Senior Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, TV Stations Group, Pappas Telecasting Companies: "The CW Network offers our stations assurance for success with quality entertainment programming, a disciplined growth and development strategy, and outstanding leadership."

On January 24, CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment announced their intent to form a new 5th network, The CW, to be launched in the fall of 2006. The new broadcasting network will be a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation, with each company owning 50%.

In an important strategic move that secures major market distribution for The CW, it was also announced on January 24th that Tribune Broadcasting and the CBS Corporation's UPN affiliates have agreed separately to sign 10-year affiliation agreements with the new network. The combination of Tribune's 16 major market stations (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Houston, Miami, Denver, St. Louis, Portland, Indianapolis, San Diego, Hartford, New Orleans and Albany) and the 11 CBS-owned UPN major market affiliates (Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa, Seattle, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, West Palm Beach, Norfolk and Providence) cover the top 13 television markets, 20 of the top 25 television markets and have a total coverage area of more than 47% of the country.

The remainder of the network's distribution system will be a combination of selected current UPN and The WB stations.

The CW will incorporate The WB's current scheduling model, which consists of a 6 night-13 hour primetime lineup including Monday through Friday nights from 8-10 (EST/PST); Sundays from 7-10 (EST/PST); Sunday from 5-7 (EST/PST) outside of primetime as well as a Monday thru Friday afternoon block from 3-5 (EST/PST) and a 5-hour Saturday morning animation block. Together, the network will program 30 hours a week over seven days for its affiliated stations.

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and UPN), cable television (Showtime and CSTV Networks), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Television and King World), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), theme parks (Paramount Parks), digital media (CBS Digital Media Group and CSTV Networks) and consumer products (CBS Consumer Products). In Fall 2006, UPN will cease operations and The CW, a new fifth broadcast television network, will launch as a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation. For more information, log on to www.cbscorporation.com.

Warner Bros. Entertainment, a fully-integrated, broad-based entertainment company, is a global leader in the creation, production, distribution, licensing and marketing of all forms of entertainment and their related businesses. Warner Bros. Entertainment, a Time Warner Company, stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry, from feature films to television, home video/DVD, animation, comic books, interactive entertainment and games, product and brand licensing, international cinemas and broadcasting. Pappas Telecasting Companies is the largest privately held, commercial television broadcast group in the United States in terms of U.S. Household coverage as defined by Nielsen Media Research. The company owns 27 stations, including market-leading FOX, WB, ABC, CBS, UPN and Azteca America affiliates, and operates three other stations pursuant to local marketing agreements, in most regions of the United States. Additionally, Pappas owns 15 on-air digital channels, operates three others under LMAs, and has an agreement to purchase one additional digital channel. The Company holds construction permits to build 10 additional television stations, and has an option to purchase a construction permit for a full-power, five million Watt station. Pappas also is moving KTRB-AM 860 from Modesto to the San Francisco-San Jose radio market, and is constructing KPMP-AM 840 in Modesto. According to statistics from Nielsen, Pappas Telecasting television stations serve more than 16% of all U.S. television households. In addition, the company owns or operates television stations in markets reaching nearly 36% of U.S. Hispanic households and 38% of all U.S. Hispanic persons age 2+. In total, Pappas owns or operates stations in 24 Designated Market Areas. For more information, log on to www.pappastv.com.

  [march 2006]  

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