NBCUniversal is launching a new NBC-owned TV station in one of the country’s largest TV markets. TVNewsCheck reports that the NBC Owned Television Stations group is readying for the launch of its own station in Boston, the No. 8 designated market area.
The launch is set for Jan. 1, 2017, when the company’s affiliation agreement with Sunbeam Television Corp.’s WHDH-TV is set to expire.
In a memo circulated today to company employees, Valari Staab, president of the network station group, announced the new station, writing: “This will be the 12th NBC station in our group, following last year’s launch of NBC Puerto Rico, which was station No. 11.” the memo says.
“The Staab memo points out that NBC already has a large presence in the nation’s eighth-largest TV market with Telemundo’s Spanish-language WNEU and NECN, a 24/7 cable news network,” TVNewsCheck notes.
Variety adds: “The memo did not specify what station the new NBC outlet would broadcast from, but the decision likely spells the end of the company’s long relationship in the area with WHDH, supervised by Sunbeam leader Ed Ansin.”
Variety indicates that the relationship between Ansin and NBC hasn’t always gone smoothly. “In 2009, he threatened to air local news at 10 p.m. rather than a five-nights-a-week primetime talk show featuring Jay Leno — a signal station owners around the nation were nervous about airing Leno every weeknight as a lead-in to their late-night newscasts, which help them snare a good portion of their annual advertising revenue,” the Variety report notes.
NBC reportedly has tried to acquire WHDH from Ansin, with Ansin saying in the past that he turned down an offer of $200 million from the network.