From time to time, stations within a market change affiliates. Stations are bought and sold all the time and that can mean big changes. It has happened to several markets where we have active schedules.
So what exactly does it mean when the affiliates change?
The affiliates create deals with local stations in the market to carry their network on that station. One cause for an affiliate change is contract expiration. The network makes the decision to remain on the current station or work a better deal with another one in the market.
So if they lose the network, do the stations lose all of their current programming?
The station only loses the network programming. For example, the affiliate ABC network programs include Good Morning America, The View, The Chew, General Hospital, and Primetime programming to name a few. However, the station actually has separate contracts from the network for Syndicated Programs (also known as reruns). The station also still owns all of their local news programming. So if you have your favorite local morning show, then it will most likely stay with the station rather than change channels and move with the affiliate.
One of the most recent and significant changes we’ve experienced at cj Advertising involved a couple of stations in Indianapolis at the start of 2015. WISH, previously the CBS, changed to the CW station. CBS found its new home at WTTV, which was previously CW.
We are also monitoring a potential change in Boston, where the local NBC is looking to start their own NBC (Owned and Operated), which in turn, would leave WHDH (the station that currently airs NBC) without a network. In this particular instance, WHDH is fighting to keep NBC. This can all change until the negotiations/lawsuits are finalized. As of today, there is a possibility that WHDH will lose the NBC affiliation in 2017.
So how does cj handle it and what does this mean for you?
For you, we want to make sure that there is minimal impact on your call volume. With any change to the schedule, there is a chance that calls will fluctuate. We keep in mind that the market/viewers need time to locate their favorite programs. The good news is that your media team is watching any change closely, so we will monitor the situation and then alter the schedules as necessary.
In addition to watching calls, we are also in constant contact with the station reps to negotiate competitive rates and projected ratings ahead of the programming changes. After it’s all said and done, we work with the station and hold them accountable for any points that were not achieved in the prior quarter.
Our goal is to make the transition as seamless as we can for everyone involved. We’ll watch your call volumes and keep them in line, and we will make sure that your schedules run with as few interruptions as possible.