You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pubcasters WNET, WLIW wed

Gotham station merger is a cost-saving move

Two of the country’s largest public television stations — Thirteen/WNET and WLIW 21 — have agreed to merge operations.

On Tuesday, WLIW’s board of trustees voted in favor of the merger, which WNET’s board approved last week. The deal is awaiting approval from both the Federal Communications Commission and the New York State Supreme Court, which could take up to 18 months.

While the two New York-area stations will retain their distinct public identities, the Educational Broadcasting Corp., Thirteen’s parent, will be the licensee of both stations. WNET has agreed to help WLIW upgrade its digital television capability by the FCC’s deadline of 2003 and to increase funding for its programming.

Without financial assistance from WNET, WLIW would have to pony up between $5 million and $10 million to complete the mandated digital conversion on its own. WNET already has completed the process, at a cost of $30 million-$35 million.

Gov’t encourages mergers

Congress and the Corp. for Public Broadcasting have encouraged public TV stations in overlapping markets to consider pursuing joint operations. As a result, it’s likely there will be a number of similar mergers over the next few years.

“Combining our talents and resources will not only help ensure the future of public television in this area as we now know it, but provide significant new opportunities for growth and development of this media resource,” said Terrel L. Cass, WLIW prexy and general manager, who now will report to WNET prez Bill Baker.

WNET is the country’s most-watched and largest public television station and provides a number of key programs for PBS. WLIW is the fourth most-watched public television station in the U.S., with a weekly audience of 1.7 million households in the New York area.

More TV

  • Daily Show Viacom

    DirecTV, Viacom Avert Blackout After Marathon Negotiation

    DirecTV and Viacom have agreed on a carriage renewal pact covering a raft of Viacom’s cable channels after a marathon negotiation over the weekend. In a joint statement early Monday, the companies said: “We are pleased to announce a renewed Viacom-AT&T contract that includes continued carriage of Viacom services across multiple AT&T platforms and products. [...]

  • Osmosis

    Netflix Feeds Fantasy-Hungry YAs in France

    LILLE, France —  The series the audience was about to see on Sunday night at Lille’s central UGC Cine-Cité multiplex wasn’t even playing in Series Mania’s main International Competition. But in many ways, Netflix’s” “Osmosis” was certainly among the most-anticipated of shows at this year’s festival. The excitement before the screening was palpable, and pointed [...]

  • Series Mania: Q & A with

    Series Mania: ‘Hierro’ as ‘Southern Noir’ and an Industry Groundbreaker

    LILLE, France —  Banijay Rights-sold “Hierro” begins with sea, land, air and fire: Shots of the stunning volcanic isle of El Hierro, the most westerly point of Spain’s Canary Islands, with its black basalt rock, brown iron-rich gravel, white waves pummeling the coast, trees trunks twisted by wind and lava, a juniper bent double by [...]

  • Shekhar Kapur to Direct 'Ibis' Trilogy

    Shekhar Kapur to Direct 'Ibis' Trilogy for Endemol Shine (EXCLUSIVE)

    Acclaimed Indian director Shekhar Kapur is to direct a TV series for Endemol Shine based on historical novels by Amitav Ghosh, known as the “Ibis Trilogy.” The deal was announced at Series Mania in Lille. The books “Sea of Poppies,” “River of Smoke,” and “Flood of Fire,” are set in mid-19th century Asia. They interweave [...]

  • ‘Lambs Of God’ To World Premiere

    Lingo Pictures, Endemol Shine’s ‘Lambs of God’ Set for Series Mania World Premiere

    LILLE, France — Lingo Pictures Productions and Endemol Shine’s new Australian limited series “Lambs of God,” based on the Australian novel of the same name by Marele Day, world premieres on Wednesday, March 27 in the main International Competition at this year’s Series Mania festival. The series follows three devout nuns, the last sisters of [...]

  • Bruno DEBRANDT (Florent) et Julie GAYET

    Federation Acquires Intl. Sales Rights on Series Mania French Competition Player ‘Torn’

    LILLE, France — Leading French independent production-finance-distribution sales company Federation Entertainment has secured international sales rights on upcoming French psychological thriller “Torn.” The series was created and written by director Lionel Bailliu (“Innocente”)and Yann Le Gal (“Léo Mattéï, Brigade des Mineurs”) and world premieres in the official French competition on March 25 at France’s Series [...]

  • About Premium Content Expands Scope, Rebrands

    About Premium Content Expands Scope, Rebrands as APC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    As it celebrates its fifth anniversary, the rising Paris-based TV production and distribution company About Premium Content is rebranding as APC Studios to reflect the expanded scope of its activities. APC Studios, which launched as a sales company in 2014, is now a producer, financier and distributor of upscale projects ranging from scripted to factual [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content