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MyNetworkTV adds deals

CEO Abernethy made announcement Tuesday

Fox’s MyNetworkTV has just closed affiliate agreements in five additional key markets — Cleveland; Charlotte, N.C.; Honolulu; Baton Rouge, La.; and Palm Springs — bringing the new net’s penetration so far to 40% of the country.

Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations, made the announcement Tuesday.

MyNetworkTV, which is targeting the 18-49 demo, is scheduled to launch Tuesday, Sept. 5. It will go up against the CW, which is essentially the key programming offerings from the merged WB and UPN netlets.

The latest MyNetworkTV deals involve three midsize station groups: Raycom Media for WUAB Cleveland, KFVE Honolulu and WBXH Baton Rouge; Capitol Broadcasting for WWWB Charlotte; and Mirage Media for KPSE Palm Springs.

Twentieth TV prexy Bob Cook and the Twentieth team “are currently in negotiations with many other station groups, and we are confident that we’ll have more than 90% of the country cleared by launch,” Abernethy said.

MyNetworkTV has already been cleared on 10 stations owned and operated by Fox TV Stations, including the top three markets, and an additional 17 stations from the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

As for the programming, MyNetworkTV will launch with Twentieth TV’s scripted primetime drama strips “Desire” and “Secrets.” Hourlong sudsers will feature a 65-episode story arc stripped Monday-Friday over 13 weeks. Other reality-flavored shows produced by the Fox production units are in the works.