[04/04/06 - 12:00 AM]
The CW Announces Long-Term Affiliation Agreements with Freedom Communications, InC. and Lockwood Broadcasting CorP.

[via press release from The CW]


Grand Rapids, Richmond, Huntsville, Lansing, Beaumont, Medford and Sherman-Ada Are the Latest Markets To Be Served by The CW

America's Fifth Broadcast Network Increases National Coverage To More Than 76% Of The Country

The CW announced today that it has signed long-term affiliation agreements with Freedom Communications, Inc. for television stations in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Beaumont and Medford, and with Lockwood Broadcasting Corp. for their television stations in Richmond, Huntsville and Sherman-Ada.

The addition of these four Freedom stations and the three Lockwood stations increases The CW's national coverage to more than 76% of the country, including 19 of the Top 20 markets and 26 of the Top 30.

The newly signed affiliates are:

* WWMT Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich. (DMA rank #39).

* WUPV Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (DMA rank #60).

* WHDF Huntsville-Decatur (Florence), Ala. (DMA rank #84).

* WLAJ Lansing, Mich. (DMA rank #110).

* KFDM Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (DMA rank #140).

* KTVL Medford-Klamath Falls, Ore. (DMA rank #141).

* KTEN Sherman, TX-Ada, Okla. (DMA rank #161).

These seven stations represent 2.11% of total U.S. TV households. WWMT-DT, KFDM-DT and KTVL-DT are the digital stations of Freedom's CBS affiliates. KTEN-DT is the digital station of Lockwood's NBC affiliate. WLAJ-DT is the digital station of Freedom's ABC affiliate. WUPV and WHDF are currently UPN affiliates. KFDM-DT and WLAJ-DT are currently WB 100+ affiliates.

John Maatta, Chief Operating Officer, The CW, said: "It's a great pleasure to announce our first affiliation agreements with two of our industry's leading station operators -- Freedom Communications and Lockwood Broadcasting. Dynamic market leadership, strong community involvement, embracing new technologies to enhance their service to their constituents and distinctive, cutting edge branding are Freedom and Lockwood station hallmarks. The CW's young adult-oriented and popular programming will do very well on these stations and in these markets."

Doreen Wade, President, Freedom Broadcasting, Inc., commented: "It's not every day that you can sign up with a new network that's going to premiere with programs that have already proven their mettle in the marketplace. That's what makes The CW so exciting and full of promise to us. At Freedom we're focused on creating the leading share of audience and advertising sales in our markets. We strongly believe that affiliating with The CW gives us a real advantage to help us fulfill our corporate objectives."

Dave Hanna, President, Lockwood Broadcast Group, said: "Successful programming and having a comprehensive and creative marketing strategy to leverage that success are important keys to unlocking a station's value and to providing the best possible service in each of our markets. It's something we take great pride in accomplishing locally. So signing up with The CW -- with a primetime schedule that will include a terrific mix of the best programming currently on UPN and The WB, supported by the impressive combined marketing power of CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment -- makes perfect sense to us in so many ways."

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 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.

Freedom Communications, Inc., headquartered in Irvine, Calif., is a privately owned, diverse media company of newspapers, broadcast television stations and interactive media businesses. The company publishes more than 70 news publications with a combined circulation of more than one million subscribers. The broadcast division includes eight television stations including five CBS and three ABC network affiliates.

Lockwood Broadcasting Corp. is a privately held media company based in Hampton, Va. The company owns television stations in Richmond-Petersburg, Va.; Huntsville-Decatur-Florence, Ala.; and Sherman, Texas-Ada, Okla.

  [april 2006]  

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