Current Fox affiliates in a number of markets are reportedly worried that the network will drop them in favor of acquiring CW or MyNetworkTV affiliates from Sinclair, according to a story in B&C.
A new agreement between Fox and Sinclair, announced this week, gives both parties a variety of options to buy stations in the other’s group, the story says. Current Fox affiliates in Raleigh (WRAZ-TV), Las Vegas (KVVU-TV), Cincinnati (WXIX-TV) and Norfolk (WVBT-TV) are said to be concerned that Fox will buy Sinclair stations in those markets and make them O&O’s, leaving the present Fox stations without an affiliation.
The story reports: “The owners were alerted to the Fox-Sinclair arrangement before Sinclair’s announcement went public, but the news nonetheless caught the group execs, and station staffers, off guard. ‘Surprised would be a good way to characterize it,’ said Paul Karpowicz, president of Meredith Local Media Group.” Meredith owns Vegas Fox affiliate KVVU.
The announcement by Sinclair and Fox came the day after the Fox upfront presentation in New York, and quickly had the attention of affiliates. One group executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, commented: "When it was announced, everyone was like, ‘huh?’ Everyone is wondering about a new paradigm that no one really thought of."
Fox issued a statement saying: "We have begun speaking to our affiliates regarding this matter and will address their concerns individually and privately."