Leaders of the Fox-affiliated stations have gathered today in Dallas for an emergency meeting, B&C reports, with the focus on new affiliation terms that have been laid out by Fox.
"Fox network brass is aware of the meeting, but was not believed to be invited," the report notes.
The report quotes an email to group leaders from Fox affiliates board Chairman Jeff Rosser in which he says the purpose of the meeting is to "discuss a variety of challenges, issues and opportunities," and cites "new demands being made by Fox, especially at a time when Fox primetime is down significantly."
"One group chief with knowledge of the meeting's agenda said it was related to contract language in the affiliation renewal terms," the report adds, noting that 60 or more leaders of the station group planned to attend the meeting.
Rosser reportedly did not respond to a request from the publication for comment.
The report notes that as recently as Wednesday of this week, July 16, Rosser "saluted the expanded roles of Dana Walden and Gary Newman, recently appointed chairmen/CEOs of Fox Television Group .
The piece quotes Rosser, VP of the Raycom group, saying: "I trust the folks at Fox network to pick the person, or persons, who will do a great job of getting Fox's prime schedule turned around."
The report adds: "Fox has traditionally been aggressive in its reverse compensation demands. Affiliates fought the terms bitterly back in 2011 but later conceded Fox's strategy for extracting maximum retrans cash from [multichannel video programming distributors] — and from its partner stations — was a savvy one."