Tupper Fox affils board chairman

Apr 29, 2002  •  Post A Comment

John Tupper, whose Prime Cities Broadcasting owns two Fox-affiliated full-power stations serving the sprawling Minot-Bismarck, N.D., market, has been elected chairman of the Fox affiliate advisory board. Mr. Tupper, whose election struck some people as a dark-horse victory, has been on the affiliate board since January 2001.
“We’re going to improve and increase the amount of communications between the board and the affiliates and hopefully improve and increase the amount of communication between the board and the network,” said Mr. Tupper.
He succeeds Mark Higgins, whose very brief reign as chairman ended when Fox made a deal to acquire Orlando’s WOFL-TV, of which he is general manager.
“Hopefully we will get a meeting of the minds for a reconstruction of a constructive partnership to move forward,” Mr. Tupper said.
He becomes chairman at a point when it is too late to be able to push for the 12-person board to play a significant role in negotiating a new agreement on the inventory buyback plan Fox instituted in 1999 as a three-year experiment.
The consensus for some time has been that the plan-under which stations paid for 15 additional units of inventory per week, which they would resell at rates that should add up to what they were paying Fox annually in compensation-has been an economic burden for stations.