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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Scripps Signs Deal To Keep ABC Network On Channel 9, WCPO-TV: Dancing With The Stars Won't Disappear In Cincinnati

Scripps Exec Hails 'Quality' Programming
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The deal means WCPO-TV remains an ABC network affiliate through January 2015.  You can still watch Cougar Town, The View  and Jimmy Kimmel on the broadcast station, whose call letters conjure up memories of the defunct E.W. Scripps Co. newspaper The Cincinnati Post (CPO).  When Al Schottelkotte ruled the roost with his news shows, Channel 9 was a CBS affiliate.  Scripps' stations in Cleveland (the nation's 18th biggest broadcast market), Detroit (11), Tampa (14), Phoenix (12) and Baltimore (27) are also going to stay with ABC, which is owned by Disney.  Former P&G CEO John Pepper -- a resident of Cincinnati's suburbs and father of Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper -- is Disney's chairman.  Wonder if he watches Channel 9 much these days?  Pepper strikes most people as a PBS person.  It's hard to imagine him grabbing a cold one and catching the latest episode of Desperate Housewives on the local affiliate.

At 33, Cincinnati is the smallest broadcast market in the deal.  Together, the six Scripps television stations cover about 8% of U.S. households.  Scripps will pay a license fee to carry ABC's shows -- the amount of the fee has not yet been disclosed.  Said Scripps Sr. VP Brian Lawlor:  "I'm pleased that we're able to continue the productive relationship we've had with ABC for many years.  This new agreement reflects our shared belief in the power of a high-quality national programming provider combined with local affiliates that have trusted news brands and strong influence in their communities."

So what's the network's top show?  That "high-quality programming" called Dancing With The Stars.  Nielsen had it No. 1 among  all shows on all four networks earlier this month, with nearly 20 million viewers.

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