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Tribune, U-Verse Still Talking

Both sides of the Tribune/U-verse carriage deal impasse say they are still talking.

A Wednesday (Oct. 21) deadline for their extension on talks passed quietly without incident, and without any channels being pulled down.

The retransmission consent impasse affects 24 stations in 19 markets.

By Friday, what had been pulled down were Tribune crawls on the station websites warning of possible blackouts.

"We keep talking," said Gary Weitman, senior VP, corporate relations for Tribune, a sentiment shared by a source on the other side.

Tribune extended the deadline on its retrans talks with AT&T's U-verse until 3 p.m. Wednesday after telling viewers Monday that if it didn't reach a new carriage agreement by Tuesday, U-verse would no longer be able to carry its stations.

Once a contract expires, it is up to the station whether or not to extend the carriage and avoid a blackout.

Tribune’s agreement with U-verse expired Sept. 30, but the two sides have agreed to extensions and have kept talking.

Jon Lafayette contributed to this report.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.