The latest shot in the network-affiliate retrans battles sees Nexstar's WFXW Terre Haute, a Fox affiliate, switch to ABC programming on September 1. The station will become WAWV, short for ABC for the Wabash Valley. Its affiliation agreement with Fox had expired in June 2010.
The switch in DMA No. 152 is accompanied by Nexstar inking a "long-term agreement" with ABC for nine of its current ABC affiliates, including WJET Erie, KMID Odessa and WDHN Dothan.
"We are delighted to extend, on a long-term basis, our affiliation agreements with ABC," said Perry Sook, chairman/president/CEO of Nexstar. "With our stations also producing high quality, original, local news and other exclusive local programming, we are delivering great entertainment and information to viewers and an excellent platform for marketing solutions for local and national advertisers."
Nexstar and Fox have been battling hard over the terms of affiliation agreements, with Fox cutting ties with Nexstar stations in Evansville, Springfield (MO) and Fort Wayne. On June 28, Nexstar announced that Fox affiliate WTVW Evansville will become an independent July 1, after Fox said it was giving the affiliation to rival WEVV.
There currently is no ABC affiliate in DMA No. 152.
"We are very pleased to extend our affiliation with Nexstar in nine key markets, and to once again have an ABC affiliated station in Terre Haute," said John Rouse, senior v.p. of affiliate relations at ABC. "Nexstar has a proven track record for providing local viewers with outstanding programming and community service. Their strong local news presence in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley will help strengthen ABC's footprint in the market."
Nexstar owns several more Fox affiliates, including ones in Utica, New York, Rockford, Illinois and Monroe, Louisiana. The fate of those stations' affiliations has not been revealed.