The Tribune Co. is still trying to dig itself out of the $13 billion debt hole the company fell into after its December 2008 buyout.
The Tribune’s 23 TV stations should be bringing in more revenue–but the The CW networks’ programming mix-ups aren’t helping.
There is a “disconnect” between the Tribune’s 13 local markets that air a primetime schedule for a hip crowd, while the daytime slate includes syndicated court shows and local news broadcasts, according to Broadcasting & Cable.
Compare The CW’s daytime, syndicated shows; Maury, Jerry Springer, People’s Court; to primetime’s Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and modern versions of 90210 and Melrose Place–and you’ll understand the dilemma.
“Part of the problem is that our primetime is trying to be hipper than our TV stations,” says one Tribune insider who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the exec’s business relationship with The CW. “Our stations are programmed very much like independents all day long, and then our primetime shows are too hip for the room. A big chunk of your revenue should be coming from primetime. If we had prime fixed, or at least working somewhat, we’d be so much better off.”
“Locally, it’s hard to translate The CW’s ratings into real revenue because 80%-85% of the buys that come up are targeted at adults 25-54,” says Jerry Martin, general manager of Tribune’s WXIN/WTTV Indianapolis, added.
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