With FCC approval of the transfer of television licenses to the version of Tribune emerging from bankruptcy, and with television-newspaper cross-ownership waivers intact forever in one case and four another year in four others, speculation about the plans for the company are again focusing on spin-offs.
The newspapers, which have diminished in value precipitously in recent years, top the list of likely-available properties. While their value may be way down, many of them still have the cachet of an iconic brand, with the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times at the head of the list.
Although it is believed the company will focus on its more profitable broadcast group, with is all television save for WGN-AM in Chicago. But there may also be spin-offs from that group as well.
As RBR-TVBR reported back in June, the company holds 23 television stations in 19 DMAs. And although it only owns one radio station these days, the one they have is a doozy – iconic WGN-AM Chicago.
There are 13 CW affiliates, seven Fox affiliates, two MNT affiliates and one ABC station.
With its heavy leaning toward the smaller networks, Tribune is said to be one of Hollywood’s favorite television groups because of its heightened need for syndicated programming.
Here is the list of broadcast properties currently in the Tribune portfolio.
* Chicago WGN-AM
* New York WPIX CW
* Los Angeles KTLA CW
* Chicago WGN CW
* Philadelphia WPHL MNT
* Dallas KDAF CW
* Washington WDCW CW
* Houston KIAH CW
* Seattle KCPQ FOX, KZJO MNT
* Miami WSFL CW
* Denver KWGN CW
* Sacramento KTXL FOX
* St. Louis KPLR CW
* Portland KRCW CW
* I ndianapolis: WXIN FOX, WTTV Indianapolis CW
* San Diego KSWB FOX
* Hartford WTIC FOX, WCCT CW
* Grand Rapids WXMI FOX
* Harrisburg WPMT FOX
* New Orleans WGNO ABC, WNOL CW
RBR-TVBR observation: If your shopping list includes a television group executive, the Tribune television portfolio offers established groups two ways to grow.
In markets where there are the necessary eight independent voices to allow a television station duopoly, it is still difficult to combine two of the top four stations in the market, meaning that it is difficult to combine two Big Four network affiliates. The preponderance of CW and MNT stations in the Tribune portfolio means they are viable acquisition targets for established groups with one and only one network affiliate in one of those particular Trib markets.
And if a group is interested in adding a market in which it as yet has no presence at all, Tribune has four intact duopolies that could be acquired, in Seattle, Indianapolis, Hartford and New Orleans.