WGFL-TV, CBS sign affiliation deal

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WGFL-TV Gainesville, Fla., has picked up CBS affiliation in that market,
filling the gap created when CBS and WJXT(TV) Jacksonville -- which had provided
Gainesville with CBS programming via Cox Cable -- couldn't reach an agreement on
a new affiliation deal.

CBS said only days before that it was confident it would find an outlet for
its programs in the small market. Terms were not announced, but the deal is
long-term.

The CBS-WJXT deal broke down largely over CBS' proposed reduction in network
compensation.

The station has been a WB-UPN affiliate (both UPN and CBS are Viacom-owned).
The switch to CBS affiliation will take place July 15, when WJXT becomes an
independent station.

WB will be dropped, but for now, station owner Harvey Budd says UPN will
still be carried on the station in the late afternoons after CBS soaps.

Budd said he hoped to spin the UPN programming off to a standalone low power
station or to cable.

The station had carried the WB via broadcast in a rare 100+ market agreement.
WB stations are typically carried only over cable in smaller markets.

If the WB returns to the market, it will most likely be by cable.

Budd was enthusiastic about the CBS deal and said local news could be in the
long-term picture. The market has only one other local affiliate, ABC-programmed
WJCB.

Budd said he plans, eventually, to add local news, 'but
we first need to make the transition to CBS. We do have a studio in the complex,
and that will help.'

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