Stripped of its Fox affiliation Aug. 1, 2011, Nexstar's WFFT
Fort Wayne will return as a Fox affiliate March 1. Fox began airing its network
programming on a subchannel of Granite's WISE Fort Wayne 18 months ago, but is
again partnering with a primary station.
"We are looking forward to the return of Fox's
programming to WFFT Local where we are committed to providing the most
relevant, compelling and informative content and community-focused programming
to our viewers," said Bill Ritchhart, vice president and general manager
of WFFT. "Eighteen months ago we expanded that commitment to our viewers
through increased news content, locally-produced programming and significant
technical investments upgrading our broadcasts to transform WFFT Local into Fort
Wayne's first fully functional HD platform. We are now proud to expand our
commitment once again by bringing back Fox's exceptional array of primetime,
sports and event programming exclusively on WFFT Local."
WFFT was a casualty of a retransmission rift between Nexstar
and Fox, one of multiple Nexstar stations to part ways with Fox. It assumed the
"Local" branding when it switched to an independent.
On the same day Nexstar announced WFFT was back in the Fox fold, assuming the affiliation from the subchannel of Granite's WISE, Nexstar and Granite agreed to a deal that sends KSEE Fresno to Nexstar for $26.5 million.
"We are delighted to bring back Fox Broadcasting's
primetime entertainment and sports programming to WFFT Local and the Fort Wayne
community," said Jon Hookstratten, executive VP, broadcast distribution at
Fox. "Fox and Nexstar are dedicated to supporting the needs and interests
of the greater Fort Wayne viewing community, and we look forward to our
partnership in providing highly-rated content to viewers across the station's
reach in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan."
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