Thursday, January 26, 2006

News Corps. UPN Stations

Opportunity Knocks for News Corporations UPN Stations

News Corp/Fox. operates nine O&O UPN stations in the nation's top TV markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Houston, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Baltimore and Orlando, Fla. With this weeks surprise news about the formation of the The CW Television Network they are left to fill the programming void. Although I’m sure that there are many station groups that are in a panic mode, for Fox I believe this is more of a blessing in disguise. News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox Television division is producing shows that could air in primetime blocks and the news division of Fox Broadcasting Co. has a wealth of content. The development also could give News Corp. an opportunity to start its own Spanish-language network.

The jury is still out News Corp/Fox plans however one thing is certain and that is they have already begun the process of distancing themselves from the UPN brand. Insiders say Fox is, among other things, pulling UPN on-air promos, scratching February sweeps radio buys promoting UPN’s shows, and deleting UPN logos from station IDs. “We’d be crazy not to cut spending money on a network we’re no longer going to be affiliated with,” said News Corp. spokesman Andrew Butcher, adding that Fox normally takes similar measures when shows get cancelled. What are your thoughts?

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