×

Tribune, Charter Avert New Year’s Day Shutdown With Contract Extension

Tribune Media and Charter Communications have averted a New Year’s Day blackout of local TV stations and WGN America with an eleventh-hour agreement on a two-day contract extension.

Discussions went down to the wire on New Year’s Eve as the companies worked against at 12:01 a.m. ET contract expiration. The sides have been wrangling over the financial terms of retransmission consent agreements for the local stations as well as the length of the license term. The sides agreed to extend the current pact through 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday in order to give negotiators more time to hammer out an agreement.

The contract wrangling comes at a time of transition for Tribune as the company is awaiting its acquisition by Nexstar Media Group. Tribune was in the same situation in 2017 albeit with a different prospective buyer, Sinclair Broadcast Group, when it struck a short-term carriage extension deal with Charter. Tribune’s view was that Charter got a deal on rates and increases under that extension agreement because Tribune was preoccupied by the Sinclair acquisition. This time around, after the Sinclair deal fell apart and Nexstar stepped in, Tribune brass were determined to cut a long-term deal at market rates.

The carriage fight between Tribune and Charter is magnified by the size of the markets involved, notably New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Cleveland, St. Louis and New Orleans. Viewers will lose NFL coverage on some of Tribune’s Fox and CBS affiliate stations. The Tribune stations also typically serve up KTLA’s industry leading coverage of the Tournament of Roses parade on New Year’s Day.

(Pictured: KTLA’s coverage of the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade)

More Biz

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content