The E.W. Scripps Co. said it will start moving its Katz digital multicast networks on March 1 to the TV stations it acquired when it bought Ion Media.
Scripps also announced that it is cutting 120 jobs across its corporate and national networks units. The company said it expects to realize $500 million in cost savings over the next six years by combining Ion’s operations with its own.
The Ion Television Network will continue to be broadcast on the primary channel of Scripps’ 48 Ion station, but the company said it will shut down Ion Plus, Qubo and Shop Ion, which had been airing on multicast channels, effective Feb. 28.
One of the reasons Scripps bought Ion Media for $2.65 billion in September was so it could stop paying stations to broadcast the Katz Network, which are Bounce, Court TV, Court TV Mystery, Grit and Laff.
“The distribution expansion of the Scripps multicast networks through ION’s broadcast spectrum is the first major step in our realizing the tremendous synergies of the ION transaction,” said Scripps CEO Adam Symson. “National Networks president Lisa Knutson and her team are working quickly and effectively to uphold Scripps’ commitment to executing our plan. Once again, Scripps is doing what we said we would do.”
Scripps closed its purchase of Ion earlier this month.
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.
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