The courtship of NBC by the Hearld-Traveler

Garrett Wollman
Sun Jun 21 02:57:26 EDT 2009

<<On Sun, 21 Jun 2009 01:58:03 -0400, Scott Fybush <> said:

> Short answer, no. WBZ went to CBS as part of a CBS/Westinghouse alliance 
> that was announced in the spring of 1994. By the time of the affiliation 
> swap on 1/2/95, that alliance had evolved into the all-out purchase of 
> CBS by Westinghouse.

And, of course, that was all triggered by Fox's affiliation deal with
(and later purchase of) New World Communications, which sent Detroit's
WJBK, Phoenix's KSAZ, and Tampa's WTVT from CBS to Fox, which left the
other three networks bargaining with Scripps for affiliations in those
markets.  The result was a deal that kept ABC on WXYZ, moved WCPO in
Cincinnati from CBS to ABC, put ABC on Scripps's former indie KNXV in
Phoenix and former Fox WFTS in Tampa, and (most important for this
discussion) took ABC away from Group W's WJZ-TV in Baltimore in favor
of Scripps's WMAR (formerly NBC).  Westinghouse was then left with two
CBS affiliates (KDKA-TV and KPIX-TV) and two NBC affiliates (WBZ-TV
and KYW-TV).  They decided that they wanted a chainwide deal, too, and
ended up affiliating all five stations with CBS.  (IIRC, there was
some conflict with another deal that NBC was doing -- maybe with
Hearst? -- that ultimately put them out of the running.)

This then left CBS with a problem: they had to find a buyer for
WCAU-TV so they could affiliate with KYW-TV.  Eventually they did a
deal -- which I think was reported at the time as the first direct
sale of a TV station between two of the Big Three networks -- to sell
WCAU and Miami's WCIX to NBC in exchange for cash, KCNC in Denver,
KUTV in Salt Lake City, and WTVJ in Miami.  Denver's old CBS
affiliate, KMGH, took the ABC affiliation (previously on KUSA) as a
result of another chainwide deal between ABC and McGraw-Hill, with NBC
ending up on Gannett's KUSA.  The McGraw-Hill deal also moved KERO in
Bakersfield from CBS to ABC, moving CBS to Fisher's KBAK, the former
ABC affiliate.

The original Fox-New World deal resulted in changes in other
markets, including Atlanta (which sent CBS from New World's WAGA to
Tribune's WGNX, now WGCL and owned by Meredith), St. Louis (ABC from
New World's KTVI to Sinclair's KDNL, the former Fox affiliate), 
Milwaukee (CBS from New World's WITI to Weigel's WDJT, with Sinclair's
former Fox WCGV going to UPN), the Piedmont Triad (ABC from New
World's WGHP to WNRW, now WXLV and owned by Sinclair), and Kansas City
(NBC from New World's WDAF to Scripps's KSHB).

I hope that makes it all clear.


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