Meredith To Carry Grit, Escape, LAFF Networks

Multicast network creator Katz Broadcasting has signed a distribution deal with Meredith Corp. that adds coverage for three targeted digital networks in five markets.

The agreement boosts carriage of Katz's Grit, aimed at men, to 78% of the country; raises women-oriented Escape to 58% coverage and pushes comedy-focused LAFF to 50%. LAFF is scheduled to launch April 15.

The deal is Katz's initial agreement with Meredith. It is also the first time Katz has done a deal involving its three networks together.

"Katz Broadcasting is creating unique and attractive demo-specific networks for the digital landscape in the broadcasting industry. Grit, Escape and LAFF will add great value to our stations in these markets," Doug Lowe, executive VP of the Local Media Group at Meredith, said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"It is our privilege to be in business with Meredith Corporation," said Jeffrey Wolf, chief distribution officer for Katz Broadcasting. "Meredith understands very well that in this new world where consumers are continuing to combine over-the-air television with over-the-top services, offering demo-targeted networks like Grit, Escape and LAFF will help their stations grow and prosper."

Meredith will be launching Grit on WGCL-TV's channel 46.3 in Atlanta. It will launch Escape on KPCX-TV's channel 49.2 in Portland, WFSB-TV's channel 3.2 in Hartford, Conn., WHNS-TV's channel 21.3 in Greenville, S.C., and KVVU-TV's channel 4.2 in Las Vegas. LAFF will be launched on KPTV's channel 12.3 in Portland and WFSB-TV's channel 3.3 in Hartford, Conn.

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.