How the 1994-96 realignment worked differently if WCAU became a Fox station instead of NBC?

Chapter 56: June 1996 (Part 1)
The Cincinnati switcheroo!

On June 3, 1996, the affiliation swap in Cincinnati was completed. WKRC-TV became a CBS owned-and-operated station (several months after CBS acquired parent Citicasters), while WCPO-TV became an ABC owned-and-operated station (several months after both Disney, ABC, Hearst, Scripps and Albritton merged). WLWT-TV was unaffected, as it was a NBC owned-and-operated station, thus Cincinnati could became "all owned-and-operated". Fox was in the process of buying WXIX-TV in Cincinnati, along with Malrite's West Palm Beach station WFLX-TV in a two-station deal, which could became an owned-and-operated station when it was finished.

Paramount Stations Group was in negotiations to purchase WSTR-TV for $950 million. Tribune received negotiations to buy WBQC-TV in Cincinnati for $750 million.

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Berkshire-Hathaway bought Gannett

Berkshire-Hathaway, an Omaha-based company announced negotiations to purchase television and newspaper holder Gannett Company, all for a cost of $65 billion dollars. Berkshire-Hathaway was allowed to keep the newspaper operations, while the broadcasting unit was sold off.
  • Gannett's radio operations, as well as WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C., KTHV-TV in Little Rock, KUSA-TV in Denver and WFMY in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point were transferred to Westinghouse/CBS for $2 billion.
  • WXIA-TV in Atlanta, KARE in Minneapolis, KPNX-TV in Phoenix and WTLV-TV in Jacksonville was sold to NBC for $1 billion.
  • KVUE-TV in Austin and KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City were sold to The Walt Disney Company for $975 million-$1 billion
Thus effectively, Berkshire Hathaway had no broadcasting stations. That goes under FCC's 210-station limit, and having 100% national market reach coverage.

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Tribune to buy San Francisco and Detroit stations

Tribune Broadcasting, part-owner of The WB Television Network was in negotiations to purchase WXON-TV, channel 20 in Detroit, and KOFY-TV in San Francisco, also channel 20. Both of these are affiliated with The WB.

Tribune owns and operates many stations that were associated with The WB. These included WPIX in New York, KTLA in Los Angeles, WGN in Chicago, WPHL in Philadelphia, WLVI-TV in Boston, WGNX in Atlanta, WGNO-TV in New Orleans, KWGN-TV in Denver, WDZL-TV in Miami, WBMG-TV in Birmingham, KTVK and its satellite KASW in Phoenix, WVTV in Milwaukee, KSTW in Seattle/Tacoma, KHTV in Houston and KTVT in Dallas/Fort Worth. The buyout of the two stations increased Tribune's total to 17 stations.

San Francisco was ranked #5 in the television market, while Detroit was ranked #9 in the television market.
 
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Chapter 57: June 1996 (Part 2)
WTTV-TV to overhaul format

WTTV-TV, the Fox affiliate owned by New World Communications in Indianapolis, decided to devote nearly all of the programming hours outside of network shows to locally produced news programs. The general manager of WTTV-TV said they spent better on local programming instead of paying syndication distributors to acquire nationally syndicated shows, and decided to drop all acquired programs like The Mark Walberg Show, The Marvel Action Universe, Sweet Valley High, Day & Date and The Gabrielle Carteris Show, which viewers felt that was incompatible with the "News 4 Indianapolis" branding.

This is not the first time a station decided to devote programs outside of network hours to local news. KCNC-TV, a NBC affiliate used the method nearly six years earlier when they dropped all nationally syndicated shows.

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WJLA-TV to change callsign

WJLA-TV, the longtime ABC affiliate operating on VHF channel 7 in Washington, D.C., would change its callsign back to WMAL-TV (that station used the callsign from 1947 to 1977), in order to reflect co-ownership with the radio station, following the five-way merger between Disney, ABC, Albritton, Scripps-Howard and Hearst. The station also introduced the "camera" package that was introduced by WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh and WCVB-TV in Boston, and most recently used in ABC's owned and operated stations, including New York. Here's our new logo to reflect the callsign change:
AlternateHistory.com's WMAL logo #1.png

The "Circle 7" logo was updated to match the one used by its owned and operated stations. Frank Gari's "Image News" theme was also introduced to the station.

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General Electric to buy Seagram

General Electric, who owns the NBC television network announced a $35 billion offer to buy the Canadian multinational conglomerate Seagram Company, which was recently expanded to other business ventures. The results needed to be divested:
  • Seagram's beverage division was sold off to both Pernod Ricard and Diaego.
  • Seagram's entertainment division, including MCA Inc. was merged and integrated into NBC, which is another venture owned by General Electric.
General Electric had good relations with MCA. MCA/Universal had produced several series including the highly successful Law & Order, and the upcoming series Mr. Rhodes and Something So Right, will air on General Electric's NBC television network. (ITTL, IOTL General Electric bought out Universal in 2004 and merged into NBC)
 
Chapter 58: July 1996 (Part 1)
Fox to buy New World Communications

News Corporation acquired New World Communications for $2.4 billion, and it would combine the television stations into one holdings.
  • New World's television stations include WVTM-TV in Birmingham, KSAZ-TV in Phoenix, WTVT in Tampa/St. Petersburg, WTTV-TV in Indianapolis, WDAF-TV in Kansas City, KTVI in St. Louis, KTVU in San Francisco, WJW-TV in Cleveland and KTBC-TV in Austin.
  • Fox's television stations include WNYW-TV in New York, KTTV-TV in Los Angeles, WFLD-TV in Chicago, KRIV-TV in Houston, WTTG-TV in Washington, WBFF-TV in Baltimore, WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, WOFL-TV in Orlando, KVVU-TV in Los Angeles, KDVR-TV in Denver, WLFL-TV in Raleigh, KTXL in Sacramento, WTIC-TV in Hartford, WPMT in Harrisburg, WHBQ-TV in Memphis, WSVN-TV in Miami, WHDH-TV in Boston, WAWS-TV in Jacksonville, WXXA-TV in Albany, KSAS-TV in Wichita, WFTC-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, KDSM-TV in Des Moines and KABB-TV in San Antonio. It was in the process of buying several stations from Pappas Telecasting.
  • Fox and New World owned a joint venture that consists of WCAU in Philadelphia, KDFW in Dallas/Fort Worth, WAGA-TV in Atlanta, WJBK-TV in Detroit and WITI-TV in Milwaukee.
New World owns nine television stations, Fox owns 24 television stations, and the Fox/New World joint venture owns five television stations, for a total of 38 television stations, covering the largest television station group ever.

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NBC completes WOOD-TV takeover

NBC announces that they would complete the $7 billion dollar purchase of WOOD-TV from AT&T. This would join existing NBC O&O properties WNBC-TV in New York City, KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, WMAQ-TV in Chicago, KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City, WTVJ in Miami, WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., WMAZ-TV in Macon, WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, KSDK in St. Louis, WKYC-TV in Cleveland, WBIR-TV in Knoxville, WISH-TV in Indianapolis, WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, KXAS-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth, KXAN-TV in Austin, WAVY-TV in Norfolk, WBAL-TV in Baltimore, KSHB-TV in Kansas City, KJRH-TV in Tulsa, WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, KMOL-TV in San Antonio, WIVB-TV in Buffalo, WJRH-TV in Providence, WCMH-TV in Columbus, WNCN-TV in Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville/Goldsboro, WNEN-TV in Boston, WWAC in Wildwood, WMNJ in Millville, WOCI in Philadelphia, WAND-TV in Decatur, WESH-TV in Orlando, WDSU-TV in New Orleans, WXII in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, WGAL in Harrisburg/Lancaster/York, WYFF in Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville, KOAT in Albuquerque/Santa Fe, WCNC-TV in Charlotte, KTVB in Boise, KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon, KING-TV in Seattle and KHNL-TV in Hawaii, as well as its two satellites KHBC-TV in Hilo and KOGG in Wailuku, for a 44-station total.

It operates a limited partnership Station Venture Holdings I L.P. with Chronicle Publishing that owns WSMV-TV in Nashville, KRON-TV in San Francisco and KCNC-TV in Denver.

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Silver King to buy Roberts Broadcasting

Silver King Broadcasting, owners of the Home Shopping Network, announces negotiations to purchase Roberts Broadcasting, who owns home shopping television stations. The purchase price cost $15 billion.

  • Silver King's 12 television stations include WHSE-TV in Newark, WHSI-TV in Smithtown, KHSC-TV in Ontario, WEHS-TV in Aurora, WHSP-TV in Vineland, WHSH in Marlborough, KHSX-TV in Irving, KHSH-TV in Alvin, WQHS-TV in Cleveland, WHYS-TV in Hollywood, WBHS-TV in Tampa and WHSW-TV in Baltimore.
  • Roberts Broadcasting's only television station holding include WRBU-TV in St. Louis.
This would make them a total of 13 stations.
 
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Chapter 59: July 1996 (Part 2)
KDAF-TV expands staff

The CBS owned-and-operated station KDAF-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth (of which CBS acquired in December 1994 from a tradeoff between WCAU and three Fox O&Os, became an owned-and-operated station in the July of 1995) is expanding their staff activity, rising to 1,000 staff members, including 500 found in the newsroom. KDAF-TV saw promotion to new shows like Promised Land.

KDAF-TV would be very pleased that they would produce election coverage on KERA-TV, channel 13 in Dallas/Fort Worth, while KDAF would run CBS' scheduled lineup without preemptions.

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CBS completes Freedom purchase

CBS Inc., a unit of Westinghouse Electric Corporation is completing the purchase of California-based Freedom Communications, a newspaper and broadcasting company. The following organizations had to be divested:
  • Freedom's newspaper branch was sold off to Berkshire-Hathaway.
  • Freedom's television stations WPEC in West Palm Beach, WRGB in Albany-Schenectady-Troy, KTVL in Medford, WTVC in Chattanooga and KFDM in Beaumont were transferred to CBS, joining the other owned-and-operated stations KYW-TV in Philadelphia, KPIX-TV in San Francisco, WBZ-TV in Boston, KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, WJZ-TV in Baltimore, WATL-TV in Atlanta, KDAF-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth, KSTU-TV in Salt Lake City, KPHO-TV in Phoenix, KCTV in Kansas City, WNEM-TV in Flint, WCGV in Milwaukee, WTTO/WDBB/WNAL in the Birmingham area, WCBS-TV in New York, KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, WBBM-TV in Chicago, WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, WNWO-TV in Toledo, WFRV-TV in Green Bay, WCIX-TV in Miami, WPRI-TV in Providence, WLKY in Louisville, KCCI in Des Moines, WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, KOVR-TV in Sacramento, KREM in Spokane, WKBD-TV in Detroit and WTSP-TV in Tampa/St. Petersburg, raising the total to 33 owned-and-operated stations.
  • WLNE-TV in Providence was sold off to ABC, joining the existing owned-and-operated station roster.
As a result of the purchase, WDEF-TV became an ABC affiliate.

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Fox completes Savoy takeover

News Corporation is completing the takeover of Savoy Pictures. The results go like that:
  • Savoy Pictures was transferred and folded into Fox 2000 Pictures and Fox Searchlight Pictures.
  • Savoy transferred its home video arm from HBO to 20th Century Fox Entertainment.
  • The four SF Broadcasting stations (WLUK-TV in Green Bay, WVUE-TV in New Orleans, WALA-TV in Mobile, and KHON-TV in Honolulu and its two satellites) were transferred to Fox Television Stations, joining the entire owned-and-operated roster that includes WNYW-TV in New York, KTTV-TV in Los Angeles, WFLD-TV in Chicago, KRIV-TV in Houston, WTTG-TV in Washington, WBFF-TV in Baltimore, WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, WOFL-TV in Orlando, KVVU-TV in Los Angeles, KDVR-TV in Denver, WLFL-TV in Raleigh, KTXL in Sacramento, WTIC-TV in Hartford, WPMT in Harrisburg, WHBQ-TV in Memphis, WSVN-TV in Miami, WHDH-TV in Boston, WAWS-TV in Jacksonville, WXXA-TV in Albany, KSAS-TV in Wichita, WFTC-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, KDSM-TV in Des Moines and KABB-TV in San Antonio, as well as in the process of purchasing New World Communications. It operates a joint venture with New World, owning five stations WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, KDFW-TV in Dallas, WJBK-TV in Detroit, WITI-TV in Milwaukee and WAGA-TV in Atlanta.
This means there are now thirty Fox owned and operated stations in the roster.
 
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Chapter 60: August 1996 (Part 1)
Chronicle Publishing to split

Chronicle Publishing Company, a publishing and broadcasting company based in San Francisco, whose flagship properties are the San Francisco Chronicle and TV's KRON-TV announced that they would merge with Berkshire Hathaway. The merger cost $45 billion. The results are expected when complete:
  • Berkshire-Hathaway would keep the publishing assets, like the San Francisco Chronicle, and Chronicle Press.
  • Television stations like WOWT in Omaha, KAKE-TV in Wichita, WNYT-TV in Albany, WROC-TV in Rochester, WVIT in New Britain and controlling interest of Station Venture Holdings I LP (KCNC-TV in Denver, KRON-TV in San Francisco, WSMV-TV in Nashville) would be transferred to NBC. If they do so, then they would join existing NBC owned and operated stations WNBC-TV in New York City, KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, WMAQ-TV in Chicago, KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City, WTVJ in Miami, WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., WMAZ-TV in Macon, WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, KSDK in St. Louis, WKYC-TV in Cleveland, WBIR-TV in Knoxville, WISH-TV in Indianapolis, WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, KXAS-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth, KXAN-TV in Austin, WAVY-TV in Norfolk, WBAL-TV in Baltimore, KSHB-TV in Kansas City, KJRH-TV in Tulsa, WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, WESH-TV in Orlando, WDSU-TV in New Orleans, WXII in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, WGAL in Harrisburg/Lancaster/York, WYFF in Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville, KOAT in Albuquerque/Santa Fe, WIVB-TV in Buffalo, KMOL-TV in San Antonio, WAND-TV in Decatur, WJRH-TV in Providence, WCMH-TV in Columbus, WNCN-TV in Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville/Goldsboro, WNEN-TV in Boston, WWAC in Wildwood, WMNJ in Millville, WOCI in Philadelphia, WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, WCNC-TV in Charlotte, KTVB in Boise, KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon, KING-TV in Seattle and KHNL-TV in Hawaii, as well as its two satellites KHBC-TV in Hilo and KOGG in Wailuku.
The rule met FCC's 210-station limit and full national market reach.

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Paramount to buy Nashville station

Paramount Stations Group announced negotiations to buy WUXP-TV, a UPN affiliate in Nashville. The purchase price cost $1.5 billion. With some of the profits generated from ABRY, it could easily make Nashville owned-and-operated television stations.

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CBS to buy Sarkes Tarzian, Inc.

CBS Inc., a unit of the Westinghouse Electric Corporaiton announced a $3 billion offer to buy the Indiana-based company Sarkes Tarzian, Inc.

The radio holdings would be automatically merged into the CBS radio unit, while KTVN-TV would be sold to the CBS owned and operated stations group. CBS did not include WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, it would be instead sold to NBC for $950 million.
 
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Chapter 61: August 1996 (Part 2)
Columbus Dispatch to be sold

The Columbus newspaper company The Columbus Dispatch, owned by the Wolfe family would be merged with Berkshire Hathaway, for $10 billion. CBS would acquire the broadcasting assets for an additional $750 million.

The broadcasting assets owned by the Dispatch were WBNS-AM-FM-TV in Columbus and WTHR-TV in Indianapolis, both of them were CBS affiliates (the latter had been previously been an NBC affiliate, until it swapped stations with WISH-TV due to the NBC-LIN merger)

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Disney to buy Fisher Communications

The Walt Disney Company announced negotiations to purchase Fisher Communications for $16 billion. The stations KATU-TV in Portland, and KOMO-TV in Seattle, were associated with the ABC television network.

Good relations came when Fisher had longtime relations with the network for two stations. The deal was subjected to FCC approval.

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KSHB-TV to change call letters

KSHB-TV, the current NBC owned and operated station in Kansas City would change its call letters to KKYC-TV effective next month. The call letters reflect the station's co-ownership with the Cleveland owned-and-operated station WKYC-TV, which stood for "KYW Cleveland".

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Malrite Communications-Fox merger go for FCC approval

The Federal Communications Commission approves the merger between Fox Television Stations and Malrite Communications, as both Fox shareholders also approved the merger. The following assets that Malrtie wants to be divested:
  • The current CBS affiliate WOIO-TV would be transferred to Westinghouse/CBS
  • WLII-TV and WSUR-TV would be sold to Spanish company Groupo Televisa
  • News Corporation would kept WXIX-TV in Cincinnati and WFLX-TV in West Palm Beach
 
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Chapter 62: September 1996 (Part 1)
Landmark Communications sold off

Landmark Communications, who specializes in newspaper publishing, and owner of two television stations, would be sold off to CBS. The assets Landmark kept would be owned by CBS included WTVF-TV in Nashville and KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, plus The Weather Channel. The newspaper assets that would be sold to Berkshire Hathaway, a newspaper publisher.

The purchase price cost $14 billion, one of the biggest purchases for any CBS affiliate.

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MGM to buy Paxson Communications

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., owners of film studios Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists decided to enter the television station industry to purchase Paxson Communications, cost $8 billion. MGM would require to divest WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, which would be sold to The Walt Disney Company for $950 million.

Lowell Paxson would join MGM Television, in order to start a seventh major television network to compete with The WB and UPN (ITTL, IOTL Paxson formed Pax TV instead). Paxson said they would produce original content, as well as revivals and acquisitions, with the first slate of primetime programs to begin next year. Paxson was in hopes of bringing the MGM film library to the small screen.

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Fox completes Malrite acquisition

Fox Television Stations Inc., a division of News Corporation completes the acquisition of the Ohio-based company Malrite Communications. The two Malrite stations WXIX-TV in Cincinnati and WFLX-TV in West Palm Beach, would join the existing Fox owned-and-operated stations WNYW-TV in New York, KTTV-TV in Los Angeles, WFLD-TV in Chicago, KRIV-TV in Houston, WTTG-TV in Washington, WBFF-TV in Baltimore, WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, WOFL-TV in Orlando, KVVU-TV in Los Angeles, KDVR-TV in Denver, WLFL-TV in Raleigh, KTXL in Sacramento, WTIC-TV in Hartford, WPMT in Harrisburg, WHBQ-TV in Memphis, WSVN-TV in Miami, WHDH-TV in Boston, WAWS-TV in Jacksonville, WXXA-TV in Albany, KSAS-TV in Wichita, WFTC-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, KDSM-TV in Des Moines, KABB-TV in San Antonio, WLUK-TV in Green Bay, WVUE-TV in New Orleans, WALA-TV in Mobile, and KHON-TV in Honolulu and its two satellites. WOIO, the current CBS station in Cleveland would be divested into Westinghouse/CBS, while WLII-TV and WSUR-TV, both Puerto Rico independents would be sold to Spanish-based Televisa.
 
Chapter 63: September 1996 (Part 2)
KSHB-TV officially changes callsign

KSHB-TV, the current NBC owned-and-operated station in Kansas City, on channel 41 is officially changing its callsign to KKYC-TV on September 10, 1996. This change was done, because the call letters was named for WKYC-TV, which had in turn stood for "KYW Cleveland".

KKYC-TV would promote the news community, as well as expansion of its programming.

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ABC purchases Kansas State Network

ABC completes its purchase of Kansas State Network. The deal was approved by the FCC last month. Wichita's ABC affiliate KAKE-TV would switch to NBC, while Berl Brechner's Topeka ABC station KTKA-TV would switch to NBC.

The purchase price reportedly cost $1 billion, which is higher than the Lee price.

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NBC completes the Sunrise offer

NBC completed the $750 million offer to purchase Sunrise Television. This means the NBC affiliates KSBW-TV in Santa Cruz, WETM in Elmira, WKTV in Utica and WTOV-TV in Steubenville would join the existing NBC O&Os WNBC-TV in New York City, KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, WMAQ-TV in Chicago, KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City, WTVJ in Miami, WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., WMAZ-TV in Macon, WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, KSDK in St. Louis, WKYC-TV in Cleveland, WBIR-TV in Knoxville, WISH-TV in Indianapolis, WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, KXAS-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth, KXAN-TV in Austin, WAVY-TV in Norfolk, WBAL-TV in Baltimore, KSHB-TV in Kansas City, KJRH-TV in Tulsa, WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, WIVB-TV in Buffalo, KMOL-TV in San Antonio, WJRH-TV in Providence, WCMH-TV in Columbus, WNCN-TV in Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville/Goldsboro, WNEN-TV in Boston, WWAC in Wildwood, WMNJ in Millville, WOCI in Philadelphia, WAND-TV in Decatur, WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, WCNC-TV in Charlotte, KTVB in Boise, KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon, WESH-TV in Orlando, WDSU-TV in New Orleans, WXII in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, WGAL in Harrisburg/Lancaster/York, WYFF in Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville, KOAT in Albuquerque/Santa Fe, KING-TV in Seattle and KHNL-TV in Hawaii, as well as its two satellites KHBC-TV in Hilo and KOGG in Wailuku.

ABC meanwhile purchased two of the Sunrise stations NBC did not kept, like KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara and WWTI-TV in Watertown. NBC is in the process of buying KSBY-TV.
 
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Chapter 64: October 1996 (Part 1)
KTVU to focus on news and sports

Last month, New World's WTTV-TV in Indianapolis gave them local programs only outside of network programming, such as newscasts (except for Saturday mornings). But KTVU-TV, the Fox affiliate serving the San Francisco Bay Area, owned by New World Communications dropped any acquired program, and chose to focus outside of network programming instead on local programs, like news programs and sports like San Francisco Giants baseball games, although only the Saturday morning block (consisting of national children's programming acquired via syndication, which will soon met the FCC's educational-and-informational criteria next season and paid programs) would be retained.

The reason KTVU's general manager is that they would only acquire children's programs on Saturday mornings, and its main focus will be news-intensive, and it will continue playing the San Francisco Giants games.

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Fox and ABRY complete merger

Fox Television Stations and ABRY Holdings Inc. completed their $15 billion merger investment. The merger was approved by the FCC two months ago. This would make the ABRY stations WUTV-TV in Buffalo, WUHF-TV in Rochester, WNRW-TV in Greensboro, WRGT-TV in Dayton, WZTV-TV in Nashville, WRLH-TV in Richmond, WVAH-TV in Charleston, West Virginia and WTAT-TV in Charleston, South Carolina, to became Fox owned-and-operated stations, joining WNYW-TV in New York, KTTV-TV in Los Angeles, WFLD-TV in Chicago, KRIV-TV in Houston, WTTG-TV in Washington, WBFF-TV in Baltimore, WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, WOFL-TV in Orlando, KVVU-TV in Los Angeles, KDVR-TV in Denver, WLFL-TV in Raleigh, KTXL in Sacramento, WTIC-TV in Hartford, WPMT in Harrisburg, WHBQ-TV in Memphis, WSVN-TV in Miami, WHDH-TV in Boston, WAWS-TV in Jacksonville, WXXA-TV in Albany, KSAS-TV in Wichita, WFTC-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, KDSM-TV in Des Moines, KABB-TV in San Antonio, WLUK-TV in Green Bay, WVUE-TV in New Orleans, WALA-TV in Mobile, KHON-TV in Honolulu and its two satellites, WXIX-TV in Cincinnati and WFLX-TV in West Palm Beach, which Fox gave them producing the largest owned-and-operated station group.

Two of ABRY's stations WXMT-TV in Nashville, and KSMO-TV in Kansas City would be instead sold to the Paramount Stations Group.

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Westinghouse to merge with Sony

Sony Corporation, a Japanese entertainment company announced its negotiations to merge with American electric company Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Sony will became the largest company, topping General Electric, in order for Sony to combine the entertainment assets (Sony Pictures, Sony Music, Sony Computer) with CBS Inc. (a television company who operates the CBS television network, and several high-profile O&Os), making all television networks to be owned by major movie studios.

The results for in at FCC to gave in the push to limits to allow foreign companies to own more than a 25% interest in a television station.
 
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Chapter 65: October 1996 (Part 2)
Shareholders approve GE/Seagram merger

General Electric's shareholders decided to approve the $35 billion offer to acquire Seagram Company. The deal for General Electric required Seagram to keep the entertainment assets, and wanted to combine Seagram's entertainment group with General Electric's NBC television network. General Electric said that they would not keep the beverage division, which would instead sold off to both Pernod Ricard and Diaego.

Among the entertainment holdings include MCA, who owns Universal City Studios, Inc. (both film and television), as well as the MCA Music Entertainment Group, and interest in USA Networks. These entertainment holdings would be combined with General Electric's NBC to form the largest entertainment industry.

USA Networks has plans to air NBC shows for the merger. General Electric's NBC Studios and Seagram's Universal Television is currently producing the comedy Mr. Rhodes for NBC.

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NBC to buy Sunbelt

NBC was in negotiations to purchase Sunbelt Broadcasting Company, which was controlled by James E. Rogers in Las Vegas. Among the station holdings NBC kept was KPVI in Pocatello, KYMA in Yuma, KVBC-TV in Las Vegas and KRNV-TV in Reno, while NBC is not keeping KKVI, which would instead sold to Fox Television Stations. The four NBC stations would join WNBC-TV in New York City, KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, WMAQ-TV in Chicago, KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City, WTVJ in Miami, WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., WMAZ-TV in Macon, WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, KSDK in St. Louis, WKYC-TV in Cleveland, WBIR-TV in Knoxville, WISH-TV in Indianapolis, WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, KXAS-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth, KXAN-TV in Austin, WAVY-TV in Norfolk, WBAL-TV in Baltimore, KKYC-TV in Kansas City, KJRH-TV in Tulsa, WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, WIVB-TV in Buffalo, KMOL-TV in San Antonio, WJRH-TV in Providence, WCMH-TV in Columbus, WNCN-TV in Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville/Goldsboro, WNEN-TV in Boston, WWAC in Wildwood, WMNJ in Millville, WOCI in Philadelphia, WAND-TV in Decatur, WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, WESH-TV in Orlando, WDSU-TV in New Orleans, WXII in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, WGAL in Harrisburg/Lancaster/York, WYFF in Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville, KOAT in Albuquerque/Santa Fe, WCNC-TV in Charlotte, KTVB in Boise, KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon, KING-TV in Seattle, KHNL-TV in Hawaii, as well as its two satellites KHBC-TV in Hilo and KOGG in Wailuku, KSBW-TV in Santa Cruz, WETM in Elmira, WKTV in Utica and WTOV-TV in Steubenville.

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Fox completes Petracom merger

The merger between Petracom Broadcasting and Fox Television Stations was completed. Petracom owns Fox stations WTVW (channel 7) in Evansville, KARD (channel 14) in West Monroe/El Dorado and KOZL (channel 27) in Springfield, while KLBK-TV (channel 13) in Lubbock was sold to CBS.

The Petracom stations would join the 40 Fox owned and operated stations, making it a grand total of 43. The New World stations would add a grand total of 57, to became the largest owned-and-operated station group.
 
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Chapter 66: November 1996 (Part 1)
WCW to launch show on The WB

Once the Turner/Time Warner merger completed, the World Championship Wrestling threatened TBS to move WCW Saturday Night to Sunday. The World Championship Wrestling agreed to launch a companion show to TNT's WCW Monday Nitro, called nWo Heat (the ITTL version of TBS' WCW Thunder). It is expected that to Tribune and The WB management that they would open a Saturday night time slot with a two-hour Heat show.

Heat will be a blue show, and Eric Bischoff will be pleased of the announcement that WCW matches would air on The WB.

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Shareholders approve Tribune/Time Warner merger

Time Warner's shareholders approved the $6 billion merger with Tribune Company, to create the largest company ever. This would mean Time Warner would fully own The WB Television Network.

Once the deal is completed, it is expected that WGN's superstation feed would be dismantled, in order for Time Warner to built construction facilities for the San Antonio and Oklahoma City stations by the FCC.

Time Warner agreed for the FCC to gave them a waiver to keep both WTBS-TV in Atlanta and Tribune's WB affiliate WGNX-TV in Atlanta, as duopolies are not normally allowed.

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Journal shutdown approved

The Federal Communications Commission and Journal's shareholders agreed to approve the $32 billion shutdown of Journal Communications, as it said it would close on December 1, 1996. Berkshire Hathaway would hire Journal Communications employees to join the newspaper division. The following assets to be divested for the shut down:
  • Berkshire Hathaway would obtain the publishing assets.
  • BestMark would receive the shopper assets of the company.
  • Vistaprint would acquire all printing product assets.
  • Westwood One would buy all of the Journal radio stations.
  • NBC would purchase Journal's WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee.
  • ABC affiliate KTNV-TV in Las Vegas was sold off to The Walt Disney Company
  • WSYM-TV in Lansing was sold to The Fox Television Stations
Effectively, ex-Journal employees joined NBC.
 
Chapter 67: November 1996 (Part 2)
Cox Enterprises' divorcement approved by FCC

The Federal Communications Commission announced that the divestment of Cox Enterprises, the Atlanta-based company who owns eight television stations, four of them (WGHP-TV, WSB-TV, WSOC-TV and WFTV) were ABC affiliates, three of them (WBRC-TV, KNSD and WPXI) were NBC affiliates and one CBS outlet WHIO-TV in Dayton, radio stations and cable systems, and owner of Rysher Entertainment, will be approved by the FCC. The following pieces of Cox's assets were divested:
  • ABC purchased Cox's radio outlets, as well as WHAS-TV in Louisville, WGHP-TV in the Piedmont Triad, WSB-TV in Atlanta, WSOC-TV in Charlotte and WFTV-TV in Orlando, for $4.5 billion.
  • NBC purchased Cox's three NBC stations, which are WBRC-TV in Birmingham, KNSD in San Diego, and WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh for $6.4 billion.
  • CBS purchased some of Cox's radio stations, as well as WHIO-TV in Dayton for $2 billion.
  • Paramount Domestic Television purchased Rysher Entertainment's syndication assets for $1 billion.
  • Rysher Entertainment's motion picture arm was merged into Paramount Pictures for $2 billion.
  • Tele-Communications, Inc. purchased Cox Cable for $3 billion.
  • InteRep Radio Services would purchase TeleRep for $7 billion
WGHP-TV in the Piedmont Triad, WBRC-TV in Birmingham and KNSD-TV in San Diego are one of the three stations that were traded by New World Communications to Cox Enterprises for KTVU-TV in Oakland, in order to block the defection of the former two (Piedmont Triad and Birmingham) stations to Fox. The former two stations were formerly owned by Citicasters, which had in turn sold to New World for a few months, before trading the three stations to Cox for Fox's Bay Area affiliate KTVU. Both cost a total of $25.9 billion, higher than Cox's asking price for what they got.

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General Electric completes Seagram takeover

General Electric's $35 billion acquisition of the Seagram Company was completed. This means Universal would be the movie sister to television's NBC, which just like the earlier acquisition in which Disney would be the movie sister of ABC, would be the largest entertainment acquisition ever.
  • The beverage assets of Seagram were sold to Pernod Ricard and Diaego.
  • General Electric would only keep the entertainment unit of Seagram, which was MCA Inc. MCA is the owner of Universal City Studios, serving motion pictures, television and home video, as well as USA Networks, who is the owner of the USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel, as well as the music unit MCA Music Entertainment Group. The entertainment unit would be merged into NBC, in which both USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel gave them access to NBC programming.
General Electric's NBC Studios and Seagram's Universal Television are currently co-producing Mr. Rhodes for the NBC television network.

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KDAF's election coverage to air on KERA

The CBS affiliate KDAF-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth (which is one of the stations, along with WATL-TV in Atlanta and KSTU-TV in Salt Lake City, that was traded by Fox Television Stations to CBS in return for WCAU-TV in Philadelphia) was paid $25,000 to KERA-TV (channel 13) in Dallas/Fort Worth to carry the station's election coverage, using the station's news reporters, in order for KDAF-TV to allow CBS' election coverage.

In the end, the cancellations of Almost Perfect, Public Morals and EZ Streets were butterflied away.
 
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Chapter 68: December 1996 (Part 1)
Dismantling of Chronicle sent FCC approval

The Federal Communications Commission had been hired to approve the dismantling of the Chronicle Publishing Company. Berkshire Hathaway employees was hired to dismantle the publishing assets of Chronicle Publishing Company, and decided that they would merge its own company with Berkshire Hathaway.

NBC's owned and operated stations president John Rohrbeck was hired to dismantle the broadcasting assets of Chronicle Publishing Company. The Chronicle broadcasting assets covered eight television markets WOWT in Omaha, KAKE-TV in Wichita, WNYT-TV in Albany, WROC-TV in Rochester, WVIT in New Britian and controlling interest in the NBC/Chronicle joint venture Station Venture Holdings I L.P., who owns KCNC-TV in Denver, KRON-TV in San Francisco and WSMV-TV in Nashville. NBC found interest in acquiring the dismantled Chronicle broadcasting unit.

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Fox and Pappas completed merger

Fox completes the $2 billion acquisition of Pappas Telecasting, who owns five Fox television stations in Fresno, Bakersfield, Grand Island, Superior and Omaha. Tribune was in negotiations to purchase the Sacramento, Reno, Omaha and Greensboro stations to Tribune, while KAZR-CA was sold off to Univision.

This purchase could join the 43 Fox television stations, making it a total of 48 owned and operated stations. The New World acquisition pushed the total to 62 television stations, making it the largest owned-and-operated television station group.

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Time Warner to buy Koplar Communications

Time Warner Inc. announced a $3 billion dollar investment to purchase Koplar Communications. Koplar Communications is owner of The WB affiliate KPLR-TV in St. Louis, and integrated into the Tribune Broadcasting division.

Time Warner also has broadcasting interests, like the Tribune stations, as well as Turner Broadcasting System, who owns TBS, Cartoon Network, and TNT, and was in process of producing a WCW show for The WB next season.

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Dismantling of Park Communications completed

The dismantling of Park Communications, which started on April 13, 1995 has been completed. News Corporation would cover the radio assets via the Clear Channel unit, while Tribune purchased WBMG-TV, the WB affiliate on channel 42 in Birmingham. Four of Park's television stations WBMG-TV, WNCF, WTVQ and WUTR went to The Walt Disney Company, while WSAV-TV, KALB-TV and WSLS went to General Electric/NBC, and WDEF-TV and WJHL went to CBS.

All of these met FCC's 218-station limit, with full national market reach audience cap.
 
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