Long But 'Productive' Meeting for Concerned Fox Station Owners

Network’s affiliation terms a major issue, but not the only one
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The urgently scheduled Fox station owners meeting ran from early morning to around 2 p.m. local time in Dallas, included 68 owners and high level managers representing 168 Fox affiliates, and was very productive, said Jeff Rosser, Fox affiliates board chairman.

While issues stemming from Fox’s affiliation agreements were a major impetus in the meeting being arranged, Rosser said a “wide variety” of points were covered, including the ongoing legislative challenges in Washington. “It ended up being a very productive, very positive meeting,” he said. “We hope to meet some positive results to the challenges we face.”

Rosser would not discuss anything related to affiliation agreements and their terms, citing their confidentiality and the meeting’s closed door nature. In an email to group heads about the meeting, he referred to “new demands being made by Fox, especially at a time when Fox primetime is down significantly.”

Other meeting attendees deferred to Rosser, though one did describe an “overwhelmingly unified” affiliates body emerging from the Westin near Dallas-Fort Worth airport.

Fox network execs were not at the meeting. Rosser said the affiliates have had plenty of meetings over the years without Fox present, but did acknowledge that assembling station owners and high level managers is unique. Approximately 90% of the non Fox-owned stations were represented, according to Rosser.

“We decided a few weeks ago that it might be a good idea to have a dialogue about the many challenges we face,” he said.

Relations with Fox is one of them, added Rosser, but not the only one. “We had plenty to talk about, “ he concluded.

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