Nexstar flips to ABC in Terre Haute


Nexstar Broadcasting Group still doesn’t have an affiliation renewal deal with Fox, but it has renewed with ABC for nine markets and flipped one of its Terre Haute, IN stations from Fox to ABC.

WFXW-TV had its Fox affiliation expire in June of 2010, but has continued to carry the network as Fox and Nexstar battled over renewal terms. Nexstar’s refusal to accept Fox’s demands for a majority of retransmission consent payments from cable/satellite providers led to Fox dumping Nexstar in three markets. This time it is Nexstar doing the dumping.

As of September 1st WFXW will re-launch as WAWV-TV (ABC Wabash Valley) with an ABC affiliation. Nexstar supplies services for the station, which is owned by Mission Broadcasting. Nexstar itself owns WTWO-TV, the NBC station in the market.

Terre Haute, Nielsen DMA #152, had long been without an ABC affiliate. Now it appears to be without a Fox affiliate. The only other station in the market is WTHI-TV (CBS), owned by LIN.

“We are delighted to extend, on a long-term basis, our affiliation agreements with ABC. ABC has a solid line up of primetime programming including viewer favorites such as Modern Family, Dancing with the Stars, and Grey’s Anatomy; critically-acclaimed news and information series including 20/20 and Nightline; anticipated new series coming this Fall including Pan Am and Charlie’s Angels; and high profile sports programming like Saturday Night Football,” said Nexstar CEO Perry Sook.

“With our stations also producing high quality, original, local news and other exclusive local programming, we are delivering great entertainment and information to viewers and an excellent platform for marketing solutions for local and national advertisers. We are equally delighted to re-christen WFXW as WAWV-TV which stands for ‘ABC for the Wabash Valley.’ WAWV’s ABC affiliation enables Nexstar to continue to serve the Terre Haute community and the Wabash Valley with compelling network programming as well as local news, lifestyle, sports and weather programming. Our affiliation with ABC will also dramatically increase the amount of HD programming that our local viewers will have access to on a daily basis,” Sook added.
“We are very pleased to extend our affiliation with Nexstar in nine key markets, and to once again have an ABC affiliated station in Terre Haute. Nexstar has a proven track record for providing local viewers with outstanding programming and community service. Their strong local news presence in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley will help strengthen ABC’s footprint in the market,” said John Rouse, senior vice president, Affiliate Relations for the ABC Television Network.

The Nexstar owned ABC affiliated stations include KMID in Odessa-Midland, Texas; KSVI in Billings, Montana; WDHN in Dothan, Alabama; WJET in Erie, Pennsylvania; and KQTV in St. Joseph, Missouri. In addition to WFXW, the stations to which Nexstar provides services to include KAMC in Lubbock, Texas; WTVO in Rockford, Illinois; WUTR in Utica, New York; and KODE in Joplin, Missouri. The previous affiliation agreement for seven of the stations ended in December 2010 and the stations continued operating as ABC affiliates through short-term extensions while two of the stations’ affiliation agreements expire in December 2012.

RBR-TVBR observation: We doubt that Rupert Murdoch is going to lose any sleep over not having a Fox affiliate in DMA #152. Still, this was one market where Nexstar could readily score a point in its battle with Fox.