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Memo: Cox swaps KTVU, KICU for stations in Boston, Memphis

The following is a memo distributed to Cox Media Group employees by the company’s president Bill Hoffman on Tuesday following the announcement that CMG would swap Oakland-based FOX affiliate KTVU and independent station KICU for stations in Boston and Memphis:

I wanted to let you all know that an important strategic opportunity has presented itself and Cox Media Group will acquire FOX affiliates WFXT-TV Channel 25 in Boston and WHBQ-TV Channel 13 in Memphis as part of a mutual agreement to exchange stations with FOX Television Stations. In exchange, FOX will acquire KTVU and KICU in the San Francisco Bay area from CMG.

CMG thanks the leaders and employees at KTVU and KICU for the outstanding work they have done in the San Francisco Bay market over the decades to superserve their community with award-winning broadcasting and sales solutions for their advertisers. We’re also glad that KTVU and FOX will continue to serve the market together.

Following the completion of this exchange with FOX, which is expected later this year, CMG will own and operate four FOX affiliates, including:

· WFXT-TV in Boston
· WHBQ-TV in Memphis
· WAWS-TV in Jacksonville
· KOKI-TV in Tulsa

This will be the first time we will have had a media presence in Boston and Memphis, and CMG is excited about the prospects that WFXT-TV and WHBQ-TV bring to our TV portfolio. These new stations fit nicely into CMG’s broadcast portfolio, and we look forward to having a great news presence in these two markets and competing hard with the fine local broadcasters who already reside there. Once complete, CMG will operate 14 broadcast stations and one cable channel in 10 TV markets, including:

· Atlanta (WSB-TV ABC)
· Boston (WFXT-TV FOX)
· Charlotte (WSOC-TV ABC & WAXN-TV Independent)
· Dayton (WHIO-TV CBS)
· Jacksonville (WAWS-TV FOX & WTEV-TV CBS)
· Memphis (WHBQ-TV FOX)
· Orlando (WFTV ABC & WRDQ-TV Independent)
· Pittsburgh (WPXI-TV NBC & PCNC independent cable channel)
· Seattle (KIRO-TV CBS)
· Tulsa (KOKI-TV FOX & KMYT-TV MyNetwork)

Until this exchange is complete, it is business as usual in San Francisco. Our colleagues at KTVU and KICU can continue to expect the same level of service from everyone at Cox and CMG for any business or employment issue. We are confident that they will continue to serve their audiences, advertisers and community with timely, valuable and trustworthy entertainment, news and information.

Thanks for all you do every day to help us be the most essential local media source in our markets, delivering great products that connect with the needs of our customers.

Bill (Hoffman, President of Cox Media Group)

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).