Six of the 10 E.W. Scripps television stations are ABC affiliates, so renewing its deal with the Alphabet Network is the most important network contract for the company. Scripps announced that it has renewed its ABC affiliations through January 31, 2015.
The stations involved are WXYZ (Detroit, the country’s 11th-largest market), KNXV (Phoenix, market rank #12), WFTS (Tampa, market rank #14), WEWS (Cleveland, market rank #18), WMAR (Baltimore, market rank #27), and WCPO (Cincinnati, market rank #33). The ABC stations in the Scripps television division cover approximately 8% of U.S. households.
“I’m pleased that we’re able to continue the productive relationship we’ve had with ABC for many more years,” said Brian Lawlor, Senior Vice President of the Scripps television station group. “This new agreement reflects our shared belief in the power of a high-quality national programming provider combined with local affiliates that have trusted news brands and strong influence in their communities,” he added.
The previous long-term affiliation agreement ended on January 31, 2010, but the stations had continued operating as ABC affiliates through short-term extensions. The new five-year agreement includes reverse comp, described in the announcement as “a license fee paid by Scripps to ABC for the network’s programming.” In anticipation of that new fee, Scripps said that since the expiration of the affiliation agreement on January 31st, the company has been accruing network programming expenses “at a rate that is consistent with the new agreement.”