London Broadcasting Plots Texas Network

London Broadcasting got the long-dormant station acquisition
market moving earlier this week with its announcement that it is in the process
of grabbingABC affiliate KIII Corpus Christi
for $31.3 million. Executive VP/COO Phil Hurley says the group, headed up by
Terry London, remains in acquisition mode. Its targets? Texas
stations outside the state's four largest markets (Dallas,
Houston, San Antonio
and Austin).

"Our whole philosophy and game plan is to develop Texas stations," says
Hurley. "We really want to emphasize the fact that we're local and we're real
interested in the state of Texas."

London Broadcasting is based in Dallas.
The region is also home base for Belo and Nexstar.

If and when the KIII acquisition is cleared by the FCC this
summer, London Broadcasting will own stations in Corpus
Christi, Beaumont, Tyler
and Waco.
Hurley says they're using the stations' digital tiers to establish the "MYTX"
network: Texas-centric content, be it breaking news, local sports or fare from London's 41 Entertainment
production outfit, that can be shared among the stations. London
operates its MYTX brand on the .2 channels of KYTX Tyler-Longview and KCEN
Waco, and on a low power outlet, KUIL, in Beaumont.
(London owns KBMT in Beaumont and operates KUIL.) The broadcaster
will incorporate MYTX into KIII's offerings once the regulatory hurdles are
cleared as well.  

The stations' branding reinforces their sense of place. "‘Texas born, Texas
proud. We are Texas'-that's
how we'll brand all our stations," says Hurley.

London remains in acquisition
mode, as long as the stations are in small or mid-sized markets-and, of course,
call Texas
home. "Texas
has a very unique and very large economy," says Hurley. "We think we can be
very successful operating just in the state of Texas."

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.