TVNewscheck Exclusive

Big Deals = Big Changes In Station Groups

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24. SCHURZ COMMUNICATIONS
Mishawaka, Ind.
Ownership: Private
2013 Revenue: $90 million
Stations: 17 stations in 9 markets
Coverage: 1.9%
Key executives: Franklin D. Schurz Jr., chairman; Scott Schurz Sr., vice chairman; Todd Schurz, president-CEO; Marci Burdick, SVP of broadcasting

What's up: Schurz enlarged its holdings last October with the $10 million purchase of ABC affiliate KOTA Rapid City, S.D., from the Duhamel family. Bill Duhamel said: "The rapidly consolidating television industry makes it difficult for a single, stand-alone business to remain competitive and to develop the necessary capital to expand into the digital era.” The sale was approved this March.

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Schurz Communications adopted Critical Media’s video publishing, syndication and licensing solutions at its local newspapers, television and radio stations to speed the delivery of video news coverage to its Web and mobile platforms. Schurz said it will syndicate content to enterprises and vertical websites while also extending distribution opportunities in the over-the-top TV market. Schurz will use two of Critical Media’s platforms — video editing and publishing through Syndicaster (for its TV stations), and monetization through syndication and new distribution through ClipSyndicate (for all SCI properties).

Earlier this month, Kerry Oslund and Scott Schurz Jr. were promoted to new roles on the Schurz Communications Inc. senior corporate staff. Oslund, formerly the VP of digital media, became the SVP of publishing and emerging media. Schurz Jr., who had been the president of SCI-owned Advocate Communications Inc. was named VP of corporate development.

25. ION MEDIA NETWORKS
West Palm Beach, Fla.
Ownership: Private
2013 Revenue: $90 million
Stations: 73 stations 58 markets
Coverage: 66.3%
Executives: Brandon Burgess, chairman-CEO; Joseph Koker, stations

What’s up: Three TV stations owned by Roberts Broadcasting Co., which filed for bankruptcy in 2011, were purchased last December by Ion Media Networks for $7.75 million. The stations were WRBU St. Louis (formerly MNT, now Ion); WZRB Columbia, S.C. (formerly CW, now Ion); and WAZE-LP Evansville, Ind.

26. WEIGEL BROADCASTING CO.
Chicago
Ownership: Private
2013 Revenue: $82 million
Stations: 13 in 4 markets
Coverage: 3.8%
Executives: Norman Shapiro, chairman; Neal Sabin, vice chairman; Bob Ramsey, VP of local media; Jim Hall, VP of business development; Kyle Walker , VP of technology; Molly Kelly, corporate director of media strategy

Brand Connections

What's up: After two and half years as VP-GM of Weigel’s Chicago independent WCIU, Bob Ramsey was promoted last November to EVP of the station’s parent, giving him responsibility for all local broadcast operations in Chicago, Milwaukee and South Bend, Ind. Weigel Broadcasting Chairman Norman Shapiro announced Ramsey’s promotion as part of a corporate management reorganization.

Neal Sabin, who had been president of content and networks, was promoted to vice chairman of Weigel Broadcasting. He will continue his current creative and management responsibilities for all of the company’s networks and work with Shapiro on the strategic growth of its properties.

In other appointments at the company: Jim Hall, GM of WDJT Milwaukee, was named VP of business development; Kyle Walker was named VP, technology; and Molly Kelly was named corporate director of media strategy.

27. DISPATCH BROADCAST GROUP
Columbus, Ohio
Ownership: Private
2013 Revenue: $82 million
Stations: 3 stations in 2 markets
Coverage: 1.8%
Executives: Michael J. Fiorele, vice chairman-CEO; John Cardenas, VP of news and president-GM, WBNS Columbus, Ohio; Larry Delia, VP-GM, WTHR Indianapolis

28. BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY
Omaha, Neb.
Ownership: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A)
2013 Revenue: $71 million
Stations: 1 station
Coverage: 1.4%
Executives: Warren Buffett, chairman-president-CEO; Charlie Munger, vice chairman

What's up: A holding company for a multitude of businesses run by Chairman-CEO Warren Buffett. Last August Berkshire Hathaway dumped its shares of Gannett and took a new position in Dish Network. Then this March, it bought Post-Newsweek's ABC affiliate in Miami, WPLG, as part of a larger $1.2 billion deal involving a stock swap between Berkshire Hathaway and Post-Newsweek parent Graham Holdings and some cash. The deal values WPLG at $364 million.

29. GRIFFIN COMMUNICATIONS
Oklahoma City
Ownership: Private (David, Kristen and John Griffin)
2013 Revenue: $69 million
Stations: 3 in 2 markets
Coverage: 1.1%

Executives: David Griffin, chairman-CEO; Ted Strickland, VP-CFO; Rob Krier, VP-COO

30. CAPITOL BROADCASTING CO.
Raleigh, N.C.
Ownership: Private
2013 Revenue: $67 million
Stations: 4 in 2 markets
Coverage: 1%
Executives: James F. Goodmon, president-CEO; Daniel P. McGrath, VP-treasurer; James F. Goodmon Jr., VP, new media group.

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Comments (13) -

HopeUMakeit Nickname posted over 2 years ago
lets rank these mergers by how many people got laid off and how conpensation increased for the corporate shirts who dont produce new stories or do not sell ads.
Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
So you and the other comments of this ilk are for Socialism instead of Capitalism on which this Country was built. Good to know.
JamesV Nickname posted over 2 years ago
In what way does HopeUMakeit's comment suggest he/she is for Socialism? It's a fact of life that most mergers such as those discussed in the article result in employee layoffs, increased debt, and rarely any improvement in consumer/customer service. Given the Capitalism supposedly relies on effective competition to achieve its benefits, why do you believe that those opposed to such mergers are socialists or for socialism? Those who really believe in capitalism should want to see effective competition among many players, not reduced competition and fewer people working.
Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
To any reasonable person, they would only need to reread the post "lets rank these mergers by how many people got laid off and how conpensation (sic) increased for the the corporate shirts who dont produce new (sic) stories or do not sell ads." If you are unable to realize that post is anti-capitalism and pro-socialist, then I really cannot help you.
SalesGrrl Nickname posted over 2 years ago
The only founding principles this country had were Deism and that this was a Representative Republic. Socialism and Capitalism are byproducts of a later era, and those ideals were not part of our country's founding. And Socialism, I might add, would oppose mergers and individual ownership of something so important as our public airwaves, and would favor government control, which is not what HopeUMakeit is advocating. Also, true Capitalism would disapprove of the mergers, as the creation of huge media conglomerates would decrease the competition between stations. So really, there is nothing in your comment that is correct, other than your usage of ilk, which is laudable.
Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Your post is so full of flaws in its attempt to twist something around to try and make points it would take a JC 5000 word post to address it all, which I am not inclined to do. 1) The Country's founders believed in a higher being, but one that did not care about us. 2) I never stated that the Country was founded on Capitalism v Socialism. 3) HopeUMakeIt's entire post is based on mergers should be looked at on the effect they have on people's jobs (which as the base principal of the Founding Fathers that "the higher being" did not care about us, and thus goes against that basic concept you seem to be trying to weave into this). 4) The Public Airwaves are the Public Airwaves, despite your assertion of the opposite. The Company pays for the license, which can be revoked, as we have seen in the past. 5) To say that Capitalism would disapprove of mergers is fiction. Monopolies yes, Mergers no. 6) As thus, your entire post is nothing but a group of assorted facts which does nothing to build a case to the point HopeUMakeIt and yourself are trying to establish.
HopeUMakeit Nickname posted a year ago
American History is not your strong point. You expose your shortfall with your capitalism comment.
SCOTT GILBERT posted over 2 years ago
It's what I call Clear Channeling... Buy everything you can and amass a huge amount of debt. Then reduce "synergies" until there's hardly anyone left and quality of the product falls, while telling everyone it's all getting better and better. Then continually kick the can of debt down the road...
boisemedia2 Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Betasso is no longer with Gannett.
CEOBOY711 Nickname posted over 2 years ago
nothing to add to the first two brilliant comments. they are right on the money.
tvspy Nickname posted over 2 years ago
It takes "two to tango". The sellers are unable to continue to run their companies at a profit margin suitable to longterm health. Unfortunately, as in any merger, the areas of duplication that get cut. Peopless Master Control, robotic cameras, and centralized/regional hubbing of traffic/accounting, and MMJ's versus photog's are the reasons people are loosing jobs. Mergers simply speed up the process that would have inevitable happened in the longrun...or why would they be selling?
HopeUMakeit Nickname posted a year ago
"these sellers are unable to run their companies at a profit margin suitable to longterm health" !! what a fricking joke. !! and I know. I am a employee of one of the above referenced companies and we print money like the mint. Your "tango" had nothing whatsoever t do with logic or leverage or clout. It was only about money going to a small group of people who were alredy rich.
JamesV Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Why would they be selling? For the financial benefit that can accrue to shareholders and executives. Simple as that. How much money were the merger entities losing at the time of their mergers? It's a matter of either increasing the value of equity held, cashing out on equity held, increasing the longer term value of equity held, or possibly increasing profit margins. It's all about benefiting those at the top, regardless of the impact on employees, consumers or the public interest.
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 27, 2016
  • 1.
    3.0/11
  • 2.
    1.8/6
  • 3.
    1.2/4
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.2/1
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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