It didn’t take long for Sam Zell to make changes when he found out that Tribune Broadcasting passed up an opportunity a while back to switch its former WB affiliate, now CW, in San Diego to Fox – and likely enjoy a quick boost in ratings and revenues. According to Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal, when Zell and Tribune Broadcasting/Internet boss Randy Michaels found out about the missed opportunity, Zell got on the phone directly to Rupert Murdoch at News Corporation. The deal has been done and, come August, KSWB-TV (Ch. 69/DTV 19) will drop the CW and become the market’s Fox affiliate. The move will strip the Fox network from Tijuana-based XETV-TV (Ch. 6/DTV 23), which is owned by Grupo Televisa and was a charter Fox affiliate back in 1986. What isn’t known yet is where The CW will land in the San Diego market.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Tribune Company plans to build a substantial news operation for KSWB as it flips to Fox. The station currently airs a half hour newscast at 10:00 pm that is produced by KNSD-TV (Ch. 39, NBC).