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Tribune, FOX reach agreement over Seattle affiliate KCPQ

The logo of Tribune FOX affiliate KCPQ-TV (Photo: Handout)
The logo of Tribune FOX affiliate KCPQ-TV (Photo: Handout)

Seattle FOX affiliate KCPQ-TV (Channel 13) will continue to serve as the market’s FOX station until at least 2018 under a new agreement forged between owners Tribune Broadcasting and the network, the station said on Friday.

Under the deal, KCPQ will continue as Seattle’s FOX affiliate until at least July 2018. The network has also agreed to withdraw its notice of termination, under which it claimed FOX would leave KCPQ in January 2015.

Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed by either company, though Tribune acknowledged it would pay more to FOX in order to stay on as an affiliate.

“KCPQ is an outstanding station driven by the high-quality local news, entertainment and sports programming offered by the station and its continued affiliation with FOX,” Tribune executive Larry Wert said in a statement. “This extension serves the community of Seattle, and reinforces the vibrancy of our station group.”

A FOX executive confirmed to The Desk that the Tribune’s press release was “accurate.”

It was widely believed that FOX intended to leverage the end of its contract with KCPQ to buy the station. FOX, which has the rights to NFC football games, has been snapping up stations in markets where a NFC franchise is located.

Earlier this month, FOX announced it was buying a low-power television station in nearby Bellingham. That station, KBCB-TV, is currently affiliated with a shopping network. It is unclear if FOX intends to go through with the purchase.

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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).