×

Combined to sell WGBO-TV to Univision network

Combined Broadcasting has reached an agreement to sell Chicago indie WGBO-TV to the Spanish-language Univision network, sources said.

WGBO is significant because Warner Bros., which is seeking to form a fifth network, has a commitment from Tribune-owned WGN-TV in Chicago to carry the weblet only until it interferes with the station’s sports commitments. That should take two or three years.

Paramount and Chris-Craft’s rival fifth network has already captured the market’s only other available independent station, the powerful WPWR.

It could not be determined if Univision would establish a Spanish-language format on WGBO or continue to broadcast in English for at least part of the day.

If WGBO goes all-Spanish, it would leave WB without a broadcast outlet in the nation’s third-largest market. The weblet would have to work out some sort of long-term relationship with WGN, whose parent company Tribune has an option to buy into the WB Network later, or find a cable alternative.

WGN plans to send out a superstation feed of the WB network nationally to give it cable penetration in markets where it has no broadcast coverage.

WGBO management informed staffers of the sale at a staff meeting Friday, with sources saying that Univision is set to take control of the weak indie in January 1995.

WGBO general manager Randy Swanson failed to return calls Friday and Univision officials could not be reached for comment.

Prior to its weblet relationship with Par, Chris-Craft had negotiated to buy WGBO and Combined’s Miami station, WBFS. Chris-Craft’s talks with Combined collapsed, however, and now Renaissance Communications is looking to buy the Miami station from Combined.

Renaissance, incidentally, already operates WDZL in the Miami market, which had initially committed to WB and later switched allegiances to Par/Chris-Craft. Renaissance owner Michael Finkelstein has adamantly denied rumors that he changed sides after Chris-Craft threatened to buy the Combined station.

More TV

  • Jim PackerPRESS PLAY: Variety Home Entertainment

    FilMart: Jim Packer Says Liongate Ready to Support Starz Global Rollout

    A keynote speaker at Hong Kong’s FilMart this week, Jim Packer, Lionsgate’s president of worldwide TV and digital distribution, shares plans to support Starz’ international expansion. And he recounts his experience of watching Netflix change up through the gears. Back in 2012, when Lionsgate was still casting “Orange is the New Black,” Jim Packer, Lionsgate’s [...]

  • Hong Kong's TVB Boosts OTT Plans,

    Hong Kong's TVB Boosts OTT Plans, Sets 'Court Lady'

    Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts is set to boost its OTT platforms locally and abroad with new packages and initiatives targeting the Southeast Asian market. The city’s biggest broadcaster has also renewed its partnership with China’s Huanyu Entertainment following the wild success the two enjoyed last year with palace drama “Story of Yanxi Palace.” The new [...]

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert Cancels 'Late Show' New Zealand Trip After Mosque Shootings

    “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” had been scheduled to make a surprise trip to New Zealand this week — but those plans have been put on hold in light of last Friday’s terrorist attack that left 50 people dead. On Monday’s show, Colbert revealed the now-shelved trip, which had been kept under wraps but [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Hollywood Agents, Writers Guild Make Little Progress in Talks

    Leaders of Hollywood agencies and the Writers Guild of America made little progress in Tuesday meeting to negotiate proposed rule revisions to how agents represent writers. The WGA said after the meeting — the fifth since Feb. 5 — that talks would resume later this week but did not give a specific day. “The Agencies [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: L-R: Monster (T-Pain)

    New-Model Murdochs: Fox Corporation to Emerge Tuesday

    A new era for the Murdoch clan and the media business begins with the debut of Fox Corporation on Tuesday, a day before Disney completes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The new-model Fox will begin trading Tuesday on the NASDAQ under the FOXA symbol. On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox will initiate a complex transfer [...]

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Drops 'The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2' Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV roundup, Netflix has dropped the first trailer for “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2” starring Kiernan Shipka, and former “O.C.” star Rachel Bilson has been cast in Fox’s drama pilot “Lovestruck.” CASTING Former “O.C.” star Rachel Bilson is set to play the female lead in Fox’s new drama pilot “Lovestruck.” The [...]

  • Ron Howard and Brian Grazer

    Imagine TV Sets 'Mindscaping' as First China Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Imagine Television is developing “Mindscaping,” a 24-episode science fiction series written by Oscar Yang (“Medical Examiner Dr. Qin,” “The Ten Deadly Sins”). The series is the first Chinese-language series developed by Imagine Television, part of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment group, for a Chinese audience. The show is pitched as an original sci-fi [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content