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The WB inks two Fox affils

In what appears to be a first, Pegasus Broadcast stations make switch 9/09/2001 08:00:00 PM Eastern

In what The WB says is a first, it has signed two Fox affiliates to join the Frog Net's affiliate lineup as of Oct. 7.

The two stations are WPXT(TV) Portland, Maine, and WDBD(TV) Jackson, Miss., in the 80th and 88th Nielsen DM's, respectively, both owned by Pegasus Broadcast Television.

Fox said Pegasus had opted to terminate the agreement, saying the stations "were not honoring the terms and conditions of the affiliate agreement," as a Fox spokesman put it.

"I'm not aware of any violations," said Todd Leddy, WPXT(TV) creative services director. He said the station is switching because "WB programming has offered us a great branding strategy in the market." Pegasus also owns the UPN affiliate in the market, WPME(TV), which has also been the secondary WB affiliate, carrying WB shows out of pattern. Leddy says viewers complained they wanted to see WB shows in prime time and that was part of the motivation for the switch.

In Jackson, Pegasus also owns a low-power TV station that has carried WB programming that will now switch to WDBD(TV). Sources said Fox and Pegasus had been negotiating a contract-renewal agreement for months and ultimately couldn't come to terms.

Fox is talking to other stations and cable operators in the market about carrying its programming.

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