Bloomberg in Paxson pact for carriage on NYC cable

NEW YORK — Bloomberg Television, stymied in attempts to gain carriage on Time Warner’s New York City cable system, has bought its way into the market by leasing time from Paxson Communications, the new owner of the failed WBIS station sold by Dow Jones and ITT Corp.

Bloomberg, a business and financial-news service, will begin airing programming on the broadcast station June 30, when Paxson assumes management of the station in advance of FCC approval of the sale. Time Warner is forced to distribute the station, to be renamed WPXN, under must-carry rules.

Bloomberg programming, which competes with existing cable services like CNBC and CNNfn, will air from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays — when WBIS had tried unsuccessfully to program its own block of local business news — and Paxson will fill primetime hours with Fox Sports News and unidentified sporting events, the company said.

The plan confounds expectations that Paxson would air wall-to-wall infomercials on its new flagship station, as it does in other markets.

And by selling huge time blocks, “the economics of the station will show the purchase of the station to be a bargain,” said Lowell (Bud) Paxson, chairman-CEO, in a statement.

Paxson has agreed to pay $257 million for the outlet, leaving Dow and ITT with a marginal gain on its $207 million purchase of the station last year from New York City. When it signs off June 29, WBIS will have operated under its current program format for five months.

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