MGM & Weigel Broadcasting's 'THIS TV' Hits 60% Clearance Mark, Concluding Deals With Key Stations From Tribune Broadcasting Company
Raycom, Sunbeam and Quincy Also Jump on the 'THIS TV' bandwagon
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 26 -- On the opening day of the National Association of Television Program Executives conference (NATPE), MGM Domestic Television (MGM) and Weigel Broadcasting announced key stations from Tribune Broadcasting Company have been added as new affiliates for "THIS TV," a new digital service featuring hit movies and TV series from the expansive and treasured MGM library. Raycom Media Inc., Sunbeam Television and Quincy Newspapers, Inc. have also signed up stations to carry "THIS TV," adding more firepower to the station lineup and raising the clearance level to over 60% of the country.
The announcement was made today by John Bryan, Executive Vice President, Broadcast Strategy, MGM and Neal Sabin, Executive Vice President, Weigel Broadcasting.
As previously announced, "THIS TV" has secured station affiliation agreements from Fisher Communications, Inc., Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc., and Sinclair Broadcast Group. With these new station additions, "THIS TV" becomes one of the fastest growing network program services in the local television marketplace.
The following stations have joined the "THIS TV" programming service as new affiliates, including Tribune's KTLA-TV (Los Angeles), WPHL-TV (Philadelphia), WDCW-TV (Washington D.C.), WTIC-TV/WTXX (Hartford) and WGNO/WNOL (New Orleans) as well as Sunbeam's WHDH (Boston). "THIS TV" has added 15 additional stations from Raycom, including WUAB (Cleveland), WXIX (Cincinnati), WMC (Memphis), WAVE (Louisville), and WNTZ (Knoxville).
In addition, Quincy Newspapers, Inc. affiliates: WKOW (Madison), KWWL (Cedar Rapids), WSJV (South Bend), and WAOW (Wausau).
"In this tough and challenging environment, the broadcasting community is enthusiastically responding to our "THIS TV" digital platform," Bryan said. "We are pleased that such leading broadcasters as Tribune, Raycom, Sunbeam and Quincy are investing in this programming alternative, which is already resonating with viewers across the country. With quality films and TV programs from MGM's rich library, we're providing an economically viable turn-key programming service for local markets."
Sabin added: "THIS is real! Our service launched on time with an on air look and schedule that has proven to be both advertiser and viewer friendly. We look forward to providing our growing affiliate base with a service they value for its revenue potential, ease of operation and promotional platform opportunities."
Gina Mazzaferri, Vice President Strategy and Administration, Tribune Broadcasting added: "THIS TV's ideal turn-key solution for local stations is a great fit in a number of our key markets. This was an easy decision for us because it offered a great deal of flexibility to integrate 'this' with our local and sports programming."
"THIS TV" is a new programming service for local television stations delivered over their digital platform. It allows for the local sales team to reach out in a new way to grow yearly sales revenues by securing new advertisers that may not have been advertising on traditional TV platforms. As a result, the station community is enthusiastically supporting "THIS TV."
Says Larry Blackerby, Vice President and General Manager of KPRC-TV, the Post-Newsweek owned station in Houston: "I am very happy with how things are going with "THIS TV." The day we launched, the phone calls from viewers started coming in and they wanted to know how to get the program schedule. The calls continue to come in and the viewers are letting us know how happy they were with the programming. Our sales staff is pumped and we have packages on the street. We think 'This' is going to be a hit for us here in Houston."
"We are extremely excited about launching 'This' in Tampa Bay as it offers a unique opportunity to expand our footprint and offer viewers another valuable entertainment option," added Ken Lucas, WMOR/IND Vice President and General Manager in Tampa, which is owned by Hearst Broadcasting.
"THIS TV," a collective effort between MGM and Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting Company, is a turn-key solution for broadcasters looking for an economical way to serve more viewers. Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc., a leading children's entertainment producer, also is a programming supplier.
About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its operating subsidiaries, is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., Ventanazul, MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Domestic Networks LLC, MGM Distribution Co, MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Worldwide Digital Media, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive.
In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 120 countries. MGM ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), TPG (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
About Weigel Broadcasting Co.:
Weigel Broadcasting Co and affiliate companies own and operate WCIU/Channel 26, WWME/Channel 23, WMEU/Channel 48 This TV/WCIU DT 26.4 and FBT/WCIU DT 26.6 in Chicago, IL; WDJT/CBS 58, This TV/WDJT DT 58.3, WMLW/Channel 41 and WYTU/Telemundo 63 in Milwaukee, WI; WBME/Channel 49 in Racine, WI; and WBND/ABC 57, WCWW/CW 25, and WMYS My Michiana 69 in South Bend, IN.