CBS Shifts Affiliation to Tribune in Indianapolis

CBS and Tribune Media Monday announced a deal that will move the CBS affiliation in Indianapolis to Tribune’s WTTV from LIN Media’s WISH, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

The deal will give the Tribune station CBS’ top rated national programming, including NFL football games featuring the Indianapolis Colts.

CBS and Tribune said they also renewed affiliation agreements for WREG in Memphis, WHNT in Huntsville, Ala.; KFSM in Ft. Smith, Ark and WTVR-TV, in Richmond, Va. CBS also renewed its affiliation with Dreamcatcher Broadcasting’s WTRK in Norfolk, Va., a station for which Tribune provides operations support under a shared services agreement.

“This comprehensive agreement further expands our strong partnership with CBS and allows us to provide an array of outstanding programming, including leading live sports, news and entertainment,” Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert said in a statement. “Through WTTV’s new affiliation, we look forward to significantly enhancing our sports offerings, local news coverage and commitment to the community.”

CBS has been pushing to increase the amount of money affiliates pay to the network in programming fees. Tribune last week completed the spinoff of its print assets, becoming a TV and internet oriented company.

“There’s nothing more valuable to a local station than programming from the #1 television network, and Tribune Broadcasting has been a great partner in reaching this agreement,” said Ray Hopkins, President, Television Networks Distribution for CBS. “We’re very pleased that Tribune recognized the full value that CBS brings to their business and brands across all of their stations included in this deal.”

Tribune says that in Indianapolis, The CW, which currently airs on WTTV, will move to the station’s multicast channel 4.2. Tribune’s other station in the market WXIN remains a Fox affiliate.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.