Fox And Cox To Swap 4 Stations In 3 Markets

Fox gets Cox’s KTVU-KICU duopoly in San Francisco, with Cox taking over WHBQ Memphis and WFXT Boston, both of which will remain Fox affiliates.
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Fox Television Stations and Cox Media Group (CMG) announced an agreement Tuesday under which FTS will swap its Fox affiliated stations in Memphis (DMA 50) and Boston (DMA 7) for two Cox stations in San Francisco (DMA 6). 

As part of the agreement, FTS will acquire from CMG San Francisco’s Fox affiliate KTVU and independent KICU. In exchange, CMG will acquire FTS’ owned-and-operated WHBQ Memphis and WFXT Boston.  After the deal closes, the Memphis and Boston stations will remain Fox affiliates.   

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“The addition of KTVU and KICU to our portfolio of owned-and-operated stations provides us with a compelling growth opportunity in a top-10 market,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations. “Our stations group will benefit from both the strong demographics of the Bay Area market as well as the alignment with our package of sports rights.  I’d like to also take this opportunity to acknowledge the talented Boston and Memphis teams for the great work they do.  We are confident they will be in good hands with our partners at Cox.”

“This is the first time we have had a media presence in Boston and Memphis, and CMG is excited about the prospects that WFXT-TV and WHBQ-TV bring to our business,” said CMG President Bill Hoffman. “These new stations fit nicely into CMG’s broadcast portfolio, and we look forward to having a great news presence in these two markets and competing hard with the fine local broadcasters who already reside there.”   

Hoffman added, “I would like to recognize and thank the outstanding teams at KTVU and KICU.  We are proud of the work they have done over the decades to super-serve the San Francisco Bay community with award-winning broadcasting and sales solutions for their advertisers.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions.

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Comments (20) -

Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
An incredibly stupid move for Cox, imo. Though I understand Cox open to disposing of San Francisco, which is so far removed from their primary footprint (look out Seattle), trading what they had built over so many years into the #1 Rated news station in SF for the distant 3rd in Memphis and distant 3rd if not last in Boston is a really stupid move. Furthermore, if Cox is to be believed over the past several years, they want to consolidate in markets with other traditional media they own. Boston does not offer that in Radio (and Newspaper crossownership is still not allowed in Boston). They would have been much smarter taking a Fox Market like Tampa where their station is usually #1 or #2 in the market and they have a full compliment of Radio Stations. Even KRIV in Houston, despite low news numbers, would have given Cox a TV station to compliment it's 4 Radio Station. This goes against Cox Media Group has been saying for the past several years - and either signals a change in strategy - or the previous statements were just BS.
Sammy Nickname posted over 2 years ago
I doubt Cox had much a choice in this matter. FOX likely didn't leave COX any options. FOX has proven they will take affiliations away from groups in the drop of a hat.
GMRetiredTV Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Moves in Top 10 markets are rare..they must be more to the story. Was the Fox network agreement about to expire at KTVU?
ArtieFufkin Nickname posted over 2 years ago
I'm pretty sure the affiliation agreement has an out if Fox decided to purchase another station in the market (KRON). It's similar to the scenario that played out with Fox and Capitol Broadcasting. In return for keeping Fox on WRAZ in Raleigh, Capitol sold its station in Charlotte to Fox.
tvnd Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Fox wasnt about to give up a station in an NFC market (Thus no Tampa) and wouldn't give up two for one if Houston were on the table. With the ability to make a move in SF to KRON if Fox wanted to, you don't think the Charlotte scenario would have motivated Atlanta to take Boston and Memphis and be happy about it? Then you're not understanding the "new world order".
Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
I totally understand the "new world order", but perhaps you do not understand the "new world order" of how much of a local station's revenue (and profit) comes from the local news broadcasts. Even if the lost the Fox affiliation it would not kill KTVU as it would many other stations (though clearly that is not what they would want to do). Bottom line, I would not expect Cox to be bullied into any trade that was not net positive for them. Privately owned, they have deeper pockets than literally anyone else out there.
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Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Proving once again you add nothing to the story.
Casio Adams Nickname posted over 2 years ago
@James Cieloha: Beat it. You make no fucking sense 24/7.
TrafficPro Nickname posted over 2 years ago
JC - Use your backspace key repeatedly, you'll seem much more intelligent.
boisemedia Nickname posted over 2 years ago
After talks, Fox & Cox think outside the box.
BarryOB Nickname posted over 2 years ago
At long last we get rid of the awful KTVU "2" logo! Thank you!
Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
If Fox were to go into liberal SF with wholesale changes to make the station look more like Fox News Channel (such as the logo) as they have in other markets, KTVU can say goodbye to their #1 News Rating. I doubt they are that stupid. There could be enough blowback as it is.
Ron Stitt Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Insider... Fox O&O branding looks nothing like Fox News.
FlashFlood Nickname posted over 2 years ago
To Barry: Are you 100% sure about that? It's possibile that FOX may decide to keep the logo as a legacy. You never know.
reality Nickname posted over 2 years ago
won't FOX need fcc approval to operate a JSA in San Fran, just like the approval, Sinclair, Nexstar and all the others with deals in the pipeline are waiting for?
Ron Stitt Nickname posted over 2 years ago
I believe it will be classified as a duopoly, not a JSA.
PlasmaMan Nickname posted over 2 years ago
So the real headline should be - FOX SCREWS COX
newsoldie Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Sorry guys. Makes perfect sense for Fox.. A VHF digital channel in DMA #6. They wouldn't get that anywhere else right now. Fox can't afford the money it would cost to get a VHF digital channel in DMA's they'd love to be owners in, like Miami, Houston, Seattle, Philly, Chicago. San Francisco is one of the last big DMA holdouts for Fox. KTVU is a perfect fit. And then, there's Cox.. With the possible exception of Atlanta where Cox has been king for years, Cox has no business in a Top 10 or 20 DMA. If they ran all of their stations like they run WSB, they'd be killer. But they can't afford to, because all their competitors in the other DMA's run their stations like Cox runs WSB.
treymail Nickname posted over 2 years ago
I'm sure Fox threatened to move it's programming to KRON if they couldn't reach a deal with Cox. I'm sure you're going to see Fox buy Sunbeam's WHDH and switching it to Fox as well as their Miami outlet, WSVN in the near future which would give them three very strong NFL cities for Fox.
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 22, 2016
  • 1.
    4.0/14
  • 2.
    1.7/6
  • 3.
    1.3/5
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

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