Effective July 1st as it ends its affiliations with the Azteca America network (4/3/07 TVBR #, Pappas Telecasting says it will launch its own new brand of Spanish programming on its stations in five markets. Pappas is still exploring sale or joint venture possibilities for its TV group, but says it will target higher ratings with the new initiative to increase their value.
The new programming will launch next month on KAZH-TV Houston, KTNC-TV San Francisco (which also serves the adjacent Sacramento market), KAZR-TV Reno, NV, KAZO-TV Omaha, NE and KAZJTV Sioux City, IA. Pappas, which has a pile of LPTV CPs, says the programming will serve up to 16 more markets by December. KAZA-TV Los Angeles, which is operated by Azteca America under an LMA, will continue to carry the network's lineup.
Pappas says its new programming lineup will come from a variety of Spanish programming suppliers. "Our programming model follows that of other Hispanic independent stations which have demonstrated the ability to compete successfully for Hispanic audiences and ratings. In fact, such stations have regularly achieved higher ratings than the Azteca America Network and performed on par with TeleFutura and Telemundo," said Fernando Acosta, Vice President of Pappas Telecasting's Hispanic TV Stations Group.
Pappas says it will continue to explore financial alternatives for its Spanish station group (3/27/07 TVBR #60). "In late-March, Pappas Telecasting announced that it was exploring the sale, joint venture, or co-investment with others of its Hispanic television assets. This initiative is complementary to those efforts. The higher ratings and increased revenues that our stations will earn will enhance their value to our audiences and our advertisers. The company is in the advanced stages of negotiations with interested parties who not only have successful business track records, but also, in a number of cases, have demonstrated the ability to produce content popular with US Hispanics," said Dennis J. Davis, Pappas Telecasting's President and COO.