Turner Atlanta TV turns to Meredith for management


The Atlanta sports writer who was hearing about big changes at Turner Broadcasting Systems indy WPCH-TV in Atlanta had it half right. The station is not giving up its local broadcasts of Atlanta Braves baseball, but it will get a helping hand when it comes to operations, and it’s coming from multimedia Meredith Corporation, which is in town already with CBS WGCL-TV.

Meredith will handle advertising sales, marketing and promotions and technical operations – many of the basic elements of what is often referred to as a shared services agreement, or SSA – in a concord expected to take effect before the quarter is over.

The station already acts as a hub for eight of the group’s 12 stations.

Meredith’s Paul Karpowicz commented, “This strategic partnership provides our advertisers new and innovative ways to reach their target audiences and will generate additional local advertising revenues for both stations. It also leverages CBS Atlanta’s strength as a leading local news, entertainment and sports programming provider in the Atlanta market, and allows us to use our existing centralcast infrastructure to enhance profitability.”

And the Braves? They will still be a major part of the WPCH program lineup, with a deal in place with Fox Sports that covers production and sales chores. It will mix in “acquired series, hit movies and college and professional sports, all presented with a local Atlanta sensibility,” Meredith noted in its announcement of the upcoming arrangement.

WPCH – once known as WTBS, the SuperStation launched by Ted Turner – will continue to be owned by Time Warner Communications.