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Scripps shuts down TrueReal digital TV network

The logo of former Scripps-owned digital broadcast network TrueReal. (Graphic by The Desk)

The E. W. Scripps Company has closed one of two digital broadcast networks that were launched shortly after the acquisition of Ion Television two years ago.

The affected network, called TrueReal (originally called Doozy) debuted in the summer of 2021 and were quickly added to local television stations that were owned and operated by Ion.

TrueReal was designed to appeal primarily to female viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, with reality-based programs filling much of the schedule. The shows included “Storage Wars” and “Hoarders” and were not typically available on broadcast television before they aired on TrueReal.

The last broadcast date for TrueReal was March 27, with Scripps moving some shows over to its companion network, Defy TV, which offers a similar slate of reality-based programming geared toward adult men.

In a statement, a Scripps spokesperson said the decision to roll TrueReal into Defy came after the company evaluated “the best ways to find value for its spectrum.” In this case, Scripps has leased some of its broadcast spectrum to Jewelry Television, which will help the company earn additional revenue.

“A decision was reached to merge TrueReal and Defy TV, taking the most popular programs from each service, while retaining the established Defy branding,” the spokesperson affirmed. “This programming decision opened an opportunity to lease spectrum to Jewelry Television, which sells men’s and women’s jewelry online and on air.”

In most areas, Scripps News moved up the digital dial to occupy the slot vacated by TrueReal, and Jewelry Television took over the slot vacated by Scripps News after the shuffle.

Most Ion and Scripps-owned broadcast stations also carry other digital channels from the Scripps portfolio of networks, including Grit, Bounce TV, Court TV, Ion Mystery and Laff. Some of those networks were formerly operated under the Katz Broadcasting brand, which Scripps acquired for $302 million six years ago.