DMA 18 and 21

Denver, St. Louis To Get Fox-CW Duops

Tribune and Local TV Holdings are combining their stations in the two markets under management agreements. In Denver, KWGN and KDVR will be co-located at KDVR under the management of Local TV's Dennis Leonard. In St. Louis, KPLR and KTVI will be combined at KPLR under the management of Local TV's Spencer Koch.
By
TVNewsCheck,

Further tightening their close relationship, Tribune Co. and Local TV Holdings are creating Fox-CW duopolies in Denver (DMA 18) and St. Louis (DMA 21) by combining their stations there.

In Denver, Tribune's KWGN (CW) and Local TV's KDVR (Fox) will be co-located at KDVR under the management of KDVR GM Dennis Leonard.

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In St. Louis, Tribune's KPLR (CW) and Local TV's KTVI (Fox) will be merged at KPLR under the management of KTVI GM Spencer Koch.

In addition to the co-locations, the shared services agreement in St. Louis and the local marketing agreement in Denver will allow the stations to combine news operations and share certain programming, according to a joint press release from Tribune and Local TV.

The groups expect the agreements to go into effect on Oct. 1.

In St. Louis, the stations will use one newsroom to produce nine hours of news every day, with no overlap, the groups' said.

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"People today need local news programs throughout the day, not just in the morning, the early evening and at 9 or 10 p.m.," said Local TV's Koch, who will be the St. Louis market manager, in a prepared statement.

"If the people of St. Louis want to watch news, they will find it on Channel 2 [KTVI] or Channel 11 [KPLR]. We are working to our audience's schedule, not ours."

KPLR recently launched an hour-long local newscast at 7 p.m. News at 7 is one of the few primetime newscasts in the country, and the only one in St. Louis, the station groups said.

Tribune's Leonard, the Denver market manager, said in a press release that the two stations under his wing will "continue to go head to head on our morning newscasts and focus on delivering more options for news viewing in the noon, 5:30 and late news slots.

"We will take the best of both newscasts and repackage it for each station," he said.

In the press release, Ed Wilson, president of Tribune Broadcast, said the duopolies will "enable us to create efficiencies...in each market to serve the local community like never before.

"In addition, we'll reduce our overall operating costs and use the savings to enhance the technology at each of these stations, build out our HD capabilities and claim the No. 1 position as the most locally-focused broadcasters in each market."

Odd men out are the two Tribune GMs: Jim Zerwekh at KWGN and Bill Lanesey at KPLR.

Leonard had replaced Bill Schneider at the helm of Local TV's KDVR just last week.

Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman said it was too early to say how many other employees would be losing their jobs as a result of the station mergers.

"That's all yet to be determined," he said. It depends "on how the stations are consolidated."

Even prior to the St. Louis and Denver deals, the Tribune and Local TV groups were closely aligned.

Although the groups have separate ownership, they have common management in the form or The Other Company, which is headed by Randy Michaels, who doubles as COO of the Tribune Co.

The company "allows us to share certain back office functions like HR and share technology and it gives us better leverage in negotiating for talent and programming," said Weitman.

The St. Louis and Denver deals are "logical extensions" of the groups' cooperation, Weitman said.

"We are familiar with them and they are familiar with us."

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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 26, 2016
  • 1.
    4.4/12
  • 2.
    2.8/8
  • 3.
    2.5/7
  • 4.
    1.5/4
  • 5.
    0.8/2
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

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