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Tampa affil brings Par’s total to 26

Paramount and Chris-Craft have added WTOG-TV in the nation’s 15th-largest market of Tampa, Fla., to their roster of fifth network affiliates.

The addition of the Hubbard Broadcasting-owned station brings the number of Par Network affiliates to 26 — including 11 of the top-15 — covering 45% of the country.

Par TV Group chairman Kerry McCluggage said the company’s network venture is expected to announce more affiliate signings next week.

Like other affils signing with the Par weblet venture, WTOG general manager Edward Aiken cited “Star Trek: Voyager,” which will serve as its centerpiece, as a primary reason for signing on.

He also referred to a “logical plan for future expansion” for the weblet, which will start off as an ad-hoc network similar to Warner Bros.’ existing syndicated “Prime Time Entertainment Network,” and its financial incentives.

WB, which is seeking to form a network of its own, has broadcast coverage in 42% of the country. It says Chicago cable superstation WGN-TV will expand its reach to 73% of the U.S.

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