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11 items from 2015

Tribune Media CEO Promises Programming Costs Will Level Off: ‘Had to Reach a Critical Mass’

10 November 2015 7:11 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Tribune Media’s programming expense is rising at a rapid rate, but CEO Peter Liguori said Tuesday that the trend won’t continue for long. “It kind of had to reach a critical mass, and we’re clearly approaching that,” he told media analysts and journalists on a Tuesday morning conference call. In the third quarter of 2015, Tribune’s programming expenses rose to $116.3 million versus $93.9 million for the comparable 90-day period last year. That’s an increase of nearly 24 percent year over year. Taking into account the entirety of 2015’s fiscal nine months, that line item has jumped about 29 percent. »

- Tony Maglio

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At&T, Tribune Media Reach Retransmission Agreement

26 October 2015 2:16 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

At&T U-verse and DirecTV subscribers will no longer be without their “Manhattan”: At&T and Tribune Media have reached a multiyear retransmission agreement. As such, customers to the cable and satellite company can continue access to cable channel Wgn America, as well as Tribune’s local stations. “At&T and Tribune Media have reached a multiyear agreement covering Tribune Media’s television stations and broad distribution of its cable network, Wgn America, to At&T U-verse and Directv subscribers,” the companies said in a statement. Also Read: Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori Wants Even More Local News Programming: »

- Tony Maglio

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Fox Veteran Scott Grogin to Exit As Networks Group PR Chief (Exclusive)

10 September 2015 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Scott Grogin, longtime corporate PR chief for Fox Networks Group, will exit the company at the end of this year.

Grogin has been with Fox since 2000, starting out at the Fox broadcast network. He was upped to senior VP of corporate communications for Fox Networks Group in 2008.

“For 15 years Scott has been the voice of Fox to the writers and reporters that cover the business of television. He is highly respected by media professionals, his industry peers and his colleagues at our company,” said Fox Networks Group chairman-ceo Peter Rice. “We will miss his counsel and wish him every success as he takes on new challenges.”

Grogin’s duties will now fall under the purview of 21st Century Fox corporate communications chief Julie Henderson.

Grogin is a well-liked and well-respected exec within Fox and among journalists. He’s been on the front lines of thorny industry issues ranging from retransmission »

- Cynthia Littleton

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Tribune Deal With Cablevision Expands Wgn America Basic Cable Distribution

10 September 2015 5:53 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Tribune Media’s effort to convert Wgn America from a superstation into a basic cable channel is one of CEO Peter Liguori’s top priorities. And he just made some progress in a carriage deal with Cablevision, announced this morning. The Long Island-based cable operator will make the switch in January for its 2.6 million video customers, mostly concentrated in the tri-state area around New York City. That will bring Wgn’s basic cable audience to 76 million homes, about 80%… »

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Tribune Media Misses Earnings and Revenue Mark, Digital Advertising Revenue Up

13 August 2015 4:54 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Tribune Media reported its second quarter earnings before the stock market opened on Thursday, falling shy of earnings and revenue expectations. The media company reported a loss of $0.04 per share on revenue of $501.5 million. Wall Street analysts forecasted earnings of $0.32 per share on $503.24 million in revenue, according to Yahoo Finance. Also Read: Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori Wants Even More Local News Programming: Here's Why Profit fell 39 percent $19.8 million with higher production costs in the company’s broadcast division affecting the bottomline (shows like “Manhattan” having high production costs). Other higher expenses and a one-time loss on its »

- Jordan Chariton

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Bonnie Hammer Talks Prejudice and Progress at Uja-Federation Fete

3 June 2015 8:58 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Bonnie Hammer added another first to her long career on Tuesday night as she was feted with the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award from the Uja-Federation of New York.

Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainemnt, is the first female exec to receive the kudo, named for the late leader of Time Warner, in the 19-year history of the award from the Jewish service org that supports a range of charities and causes.

And Hammer undoubtedly was the first recipient to eschew the podium while delivering a heartfelt speech from the stage that recalled her bat mitzvah — she was the first girl allowed to experience that rite of passage at her temple in Queens — and her first real brush with anti-Semitism.

The latter came when she was a junior in college and spent a year studying in a foreign land — Lawrence, Kan. A professor there displayed naked prejudice after he realized she was a Jew. »

- Cynthia Littleton

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Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori Wants Even More Local News Programming: Here’s Why

8 May 2015 6:40 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Approximately 20-25 percent of Tribune Media’s revenue comes from news, Peter Liguori revealed Friday during his company’s first quarter 2015 earnings call, and that statistic puts a smile on the chief executive officer’s face. The company’s top manager touted the importance of the information-spreading programming following the release of mixed, but generally decent, first quarter 2015 earnings. Tribune currently airs roughly 70,000 hours of local news, second only to Sinclair Broadcast Group, Liguori and co. told reporters. One-fifth of Tribune’s total programming is news, and they plan on adding 25 more hours per week across their station group. Last year, »

- Tony Maglio

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Tribune Media Revenue Misses Mark Despite Overall Gains in TV, Digital

8 May 2015 4:41 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Tribune Media fell shy of revenue expectations in its first quarter 2015, despite growing sales at both its TV and Entertainment and Digital and Data segments. The Peter Liguori-run company did meet Wall Street’s expectations in terms of earnings per share (Eps), however, clocking that profit distribution at $0.37 apiece. Revenue of $472.7 million was up from Q1 2014 — but not enough to hit analyst estimates of $474.91. To be fair to the company, that Yahoo Finance forecast had just four analysts reporting. Net income declined year-over-year to $36.4 million, thanks in large pat to discontinued operations. Operating income was up from »

- Tony Maglio

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Tribune Media Posts Strong Q4, Full-Year Results

6 March 2015 7:24 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Rising retransmission consent fees and political advertising gains powered Tribune Media’s strong fourth-quarter and full-year earnings.

The company said Friday it would declare a special cash dividend of $6.73 per share next month for a total of $650 million, most of which will go to private equity firms that converted the company’s debt to equity after Tribune emerged from bankruptcy. Tribune also said it expects to a pay a regular quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share starting with the second quarter of his year.

For the fourth quarter, Tribune posted net income of $315 million on revenue of $553 million. Retransmission consent payments from MVPDs for Tribune’s 42 TV stations jumped 68% from a year ago to $58.4 million, thanks to improved rates across Tribune’s enlarged station group. Advertising sales at the stations climbed 13% to $381.4 million on the back of political ad gains even as core advertising sales ebbed $7.7 million or 2.4% year-over-year.

Tribune, »

- Cynthia Littleton

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Tribune Chief Peter Liguori Talks 2016 Political Ad Bonanza, CW Relationship

2 March 2015 7:59 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori can’t wait for the 2016 presidential race to begin in earnest.

Tribune’s local TV stations raked in about $150 million-$155 million in political advertising dollars during the 2012 presidential election cycle. “We’re going to crush that number in 2016,” Liguori told the crowd Monday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom investor conference in San Francisco.

Part of the reason for Liguori’s confidence is that Tribune’s station group has nearly doubled in size since 2012, thanks to its 2013 acquisition of Local TV LLC. The group of 42 stations now includes multiple outlets in 13 key swing states such as Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

“We’re going to have two rounds of robust advertising” during the campaign cycle, Liguori said. “In some of those markets we have three stations. (Spending) in California could approach $1 billion. We’re going to take advantage of that.”

Liguori also talked up »

- Cynthia Littleton

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CW’s ‘Flash': Ratings Gains, Kudos Buzz Drives Net’s New Momentum

10 January 2015 12:25 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The lightning strike that turned Barry Allen into the Flash has rubbed off on the CW.

The network that had endured a long slump comes to the Television Critics Assn. on Sunday with newfound sizzle and respect. The CW has ratings growth to tout — thank you “Flash” and “Arrow” — and traction in the prestige-tv arena with the plucky “Jane the Virgin.”

“It’s been a long process,” said CW prexy Mark Pedowitz. “We’ve had a strategy and we’ve stuck to that strategy.”

The signs of a turnaround are coming none too soon for the broadcast network that will mark its 10th anniversary next year. The CW faced the possibility of affiliate defections had the ratings slide continued and its programming remained narrowly tailored for a young female audience.

“There’s no question that affiliates felt we were too niche of a network,” Pedowitz acknowledged.

The CW’s affiliation pact with Tribune Broadcasting, »

- Cynthia Littleton

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

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