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Speculation: CBS 39


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Purely speculation on my end, but something that is happening in Indianapolis currently, has set fire to rumblings of other markets following suit. In Indianapolis, local Tribune O&O WTTV has acquired the rights to CBS programming from its longtime home of WISH-TV, owned by Lin Media. Lin has argued that CBS desires a retransmission fee to air the network across its affiliates, and has refused to pay it. Tribune, who owns WTTV, as well as our local KIAH, has stepped in and given CBS what they want, leaving WISH wIthout a network after some 50+ years as a CBS affiliate. This move has opened up rumblings of other markets, Houston specifically mentioned, where owners of the local CBS affiliate (in our case KHOU) have also balked at paying this fee to broadcast the network on their stations. If Tribune were to swoop in and acquire the rights to CBS network programming here in Houston, the market would end up with CBS on channel 39, CW to 39.2, and 11 left as an independent with no network affiliation.

Would such a switch affect your viewing habits? After all these years as a CBS affiliate, would KHOU be able to continue forward as an independent, or even as "CW 11", if Gannett were afforded the opportunity to pick up the low rated network to replace CBS?

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  • 1 year later...

Lots of strange things happening with the networks these days.


Up in Boston, WHDH (7) is losing its NBC affiliation for the same reason.  Except in that case, NBC is moving its signal to the second channel of its Telemundo rimshot up in New Hampshire.   That's a big problem because the Boston market is 20% OTA, and the New Hampshire signal BARELY puts a city grade signal over the northern tip of Boston city limits.


In Las Vegas, the family that owned the NBC station there (KSNV 3) sold it to Sinclair, which killed the channel 3 signal and moved the NBC programming to a subchannel of its CW station.  That one's not so tragic because every TV signal it's possible to received in that market comes from the same mountain and they're all about the same power, so no OTA orphans.


And not that long ago, Los Angeles lost its PBS station.  Now there is no real, true, official L.A. PBS station.  Just a bunch of strung-together rimshots going by the brand "So Cal PBS."


As for KHOU becoming "CW11," I don't think that will happen because Tribune Media was one of the founding members of the WB, and I think still has a financial interest in the CW network.  IMO, it's more likely that CBS would land on 39.2.

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