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Fox Television Stations, LLC (Stylized as FOX TV STATIONS), also known as FTS and Fox Television Stations Group, LLC, is a group of television stations in the United States owned-and-operated by the Fox Broadcasting Company, a subsidiary of the .

It also oversees the programming service and has a half-interest in the Movies! digital sub-channel network, which is shared with Weigel Broadcasting.


History

Foundations
The Fox Broadcasting Company's foundations were laid in March 1985 through 's $255 million purchase of a 50% interest in , the parent company of the 20th Century Fox film studio. In May 1985, News Corporation, a media company owned by publishing magnate that had mainly served as a publisher at the time of the TCF Holdings deal, agreed to pay $2.55 billion to acquire independent television stations in six major U.S. cities from the -run broadcasting company : WNEW-TV (now ) in New York City, in Washington, D.C., in , KRIV in , in , and KRLD-TV (now ) in . A seventh station, ABC affiliate in , was part of the original transaction but was spun off to the Hearst Broadcasting subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation in a separate, concurrent deal as part of a right of first refusal related to that station's 1982 sale to Metromedia.



Because Metromedia, originally known as Metropolitan Broadcasting at its founding, was spun off from the failed DuMont Television Network, radio personality has suggested that the Fox network is a revival or at least a linear descendant of DuMont. The former Metromedia stations WNEW-TV (originally known as WABD) and WTTG were two of the three original owned-and-operated stations of the DuMont network, and the former base of DuMont's operations, the DuMont Tele-Centre in , eventually became the present-day Fox Television Center.

On December 31, 1986, WXNE-TV in Boston (later renamed on January 19, 1987), became the seventh Fox-owned property, and the first to be acquired separately from News Corporation's 1986 purchase of Metromedia's six television stations. However, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prohibited the common ownership of a television station and a newspaper in the same market, News Corporation had to apply for and was granted a temporary waiver in order to retain WFXT and the newspaper it had also published, the . In 1989, Fox placed WFXT in a trust company; the following year, it sold the station to the ' ownership group. News Corporation then later sold the Boston Herald in February 1994, eliminating the potential regulatory conflict with reacquiring WFXT. On October 5, 1994, Fox announced it would exercise the purchase option; (preview of subscription content) it retook control of WFXT on July 7, 1995. (preview of subscription content)

In 1990, FTS bought in Salt Lake City, making it the first network-owned station in Utah.


New World Communications deal
FTS gained a bulk of stations through the 1997 purchase of New World Communications, succeeding a 1994 business deal between the two companies which led to all of New World's stations switching from other networks to Fox during 1994–95. A significant factor that resulted in Fox's affiliation with, and later purchase of, New World Communications was Fox acquiring TV rights to the National Football League (NFL), primarily covering games involving teams in the National Football Conference (NFC). Because NFL games generate high ratings, owning these stations outright allows FTS to also collect the local advertising revenue, as well as use them as leverage during retransmission consent negotiations with cable and satellite providers.

The original 1994 affiliation deal with New World also triggered a chain of affiliation changes across the country and other multi-station affiliation deals for the next couple of years. Renaissance Broadcasting had previously sold to FTS in 1993 to become a Fox owned-and-operated station, the first network-owned station in Atlanta. FTS was in the planning stages for a news department at the station, and WATL had even gone as far as hiring a news director. However, when the New World affiliation deal was signed, it was agreed that New World's and 's longtime affiliate switch to the Fox network. As a result, Fox cancelled the plans for a newscast on WATL and put the station up for sale.

Renaissance Broadcasting had also sold in , along with its satellite station in Fort Collins, Colorado, to FTS on November 15, 1994, in exchange for acquiring KDAF in . One of original core stations that FTS acquired from Metromedia, it was set to lose Fox programming to that market's longtime CBS affiliate, New World's .

New World was also expanded its own broadcasting holdings in 1994 by buying other stations groups, but its combined purchases ran afoul with the FCC's media ownership rules at the time prohibiting a single company from owning more than twelve television stations nationwide. New World thus established a in preparation for its sale of in High Point, North Carolina and in Birmingham, Alabama, which it would place the stations into in September and October 1994 respectively. Under the arrangement, New World owned the licenses of WBRC and WGHP, while its previous owner Citicasters continued to control their operations under outsourcing agreements.

In April 1995, Citicasters transferred the operations of WBRC and WGHP to the FTS, which assumed operational control through time brokerage agreements with New World. Both stations were sold directly to Fox three months later on July 22, 1995.

FTS also acquired in Memphis in an unrelated deal on August 18, 1994.

Among the other affiliation changes, most notable was Westinghouse Broadcasting's affiliation deal with CBS in 1995. This set off a complex trade of Philadelphia stations between CBS/Westinghouse and ; FTS instead independently bought its own station, .

When New World's sale to Fox closed in 1997, ten stations became Fox owned-and-operated stations: in Phoenix; in Tampa, Florida; in Atlanta; in ; KTBC in Austin, Texas; in ; in Kansas City, Missouri; in St. Louis; WJW in ; and WITI in .


Chris-Craft deal
FTS gained stations through the 2000 acquisition of the Chris-Craft/United group, which gave Fox ownership of several stations then affiliated with the network (which had been a partnership between Chris-Craft and Viacom (Paramount's subsidiary) until March 2000 when the latter company bought the former's stake), and also created several duopolies (two stations in the same market owned by the same company). When the deal was finalized in 2001, this immediately created duopolies (two stations in the same market owned by the same company) between Fox and former Chris-Craft stations in markets such as Phoenix (KSAZ and ), Los Angeles (KTTV and ) and New York City (WNYW and ).

Although former Chris-Craft station would have also created a duopoly with Fox station KSTU in Salt Lake City, FCC regulations at the time prohibited one company from owning two of the four highest-rated stations in a single market. FTS thus traded both KTVX and the former Chris-Craft station KMOL (now ) in San Antonio to Clear Channel Communications in 2001 in exchange for in Minneapolis, creating a duopoly for FTS with former Chris-Craft station . Because KMSP had the stronger signal due to being a VHF station, while WFTC was a UHF station, FTS decided to switch the affiliations in 2002, with Fox programming going to KMSP and WFTC taking over the UPN affiliation.

FTS then bought in Dallas in 2000 and in Chicago in 2002 to create duopolies with Fox-owned stations, KDFW and WFLD, respectively. FTS also made two other trades in 2002 to create more duopolies. Former Chris-Craft station in Portland, Oregon was traded to the Meredith Corporation in exchange for in Orlando, Florida, creating a duopoly with former Chris-Craft station . FTS then traded former Chris-Craft station KBHK (now ) in San Francisco to Viacom for UPN stations in Houston and in Washington, D.C., creating duopolies with original Fox-owned stations KRIV and WTTG, receptively. in Baltimore was the only acquired Chris-Craft station during this time that FTS did not trade away or create a duopoly with.


Formation of MyNetworkTV
The Fox-owned UPN affiliates were not included in the , which was announced on January 23, 2006. Soon after, these stations removed references to UPN from their on-air branding and websites. On February 22, 2006, FTS announced that all nine of their non-Fox outlets will be charter affiliates of a new service known as , which commenced operations on September 5, 2006, with telenovela programming that was original to be syndicated.Higgins, John M. & John Eggerton. (February 22, 2006) News Corp. Unveils My Network TV. Broadcasting & Cable. Accessed on November 20, 2013. On May 23, 2016, it was announced that one of the Fox-owned former UPN affiliates that were left out of the initial negotiations for CW affiliation a decade earlier, MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station in , would be taking over the market's affiliation with the network from rival in September of that year. MyNetworkTV remained on WPWR as a secondary affiliation until 2019, when the CW affiliation transferred to .

On December 21, 2007, FTS announced that it would sell eight smaller-market stations to Local TV, LLC, a division of Oak Hill Capital Partners. Six of the stations that were sold were ex-New World stations, including the two stations that were first acquired by FTS directly in 1995 ( in High Point, North Carolina and in Birmingham, Alabama) and four via the 1997 merger ( in Kansas City, Missouri; in St. Louis; WJW in Cleveland; and WITI in Milwaukee. The other three were in Salt Lake City, and in Denver and with its satellite station KFCT in Fort Collins, Colorado. The transaction was completed in 2008.

In January 2009, NBC Owned Television Stations and FTS set up the first Local News Service with their Philadelphia stations after testing since the summer 2008. Fox and NBC then added other markets where they both own stations.

On May 15, 2012, as part of a five-year affiliation agreement extension between Fox and Sinclair Broadcast Group's 19 Fox affiliates (including company flagship WBFF) that will run through 2017, Fox included an option for Sinclair to purchase WUTB, exercisable from July 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013. On November 29, 2012, Sinclair exercised its option to purchase WUTB through . On May 6, 2013, the FCC granted its approval of WUTB to Deerfield Media, which was formally consummated on June 1.


Expansion into more NFL markets
On January 28, 2013, FTS announced that 17 of their stations would be affiliating with new subchannel network, Movies!, which is a joint venture between FTS and Weigel Broadcasting, on their subchannels. That same day, the company announced it would be acquiring the Charlotte duopoly of CW affiliate and affiliate from Capitol Broadcasting Company. The deal was approved by the FCC on March 11http://licensing.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/pubacc/Auth_Files/1537401.pdf and completed on April 17. As part of the deal, WJZY became a Fox owned-and-operated station on July 1. The station community believed that the Charlotte station's purchase by FTS is proof that Fox is interested in owning a TV station in NFL markets (specifically those with NFC teams, as Charlotte is) to up the station groups' "bargaining power in retransmission consent negotiations with cable, satellite and telco operators."

As part of the restructuring that stemmed from the /21st Century Fox split, it was announced on July 8, 2013, that 20th Television, which was until that time under FTS, will operate under the management of 20th Century Fox Television.

On June 24, 2014, FTS announced it would acquire its existing San Francisco Bay Area affiliate , along with its duopoly sister independent station , from Cox Media Group in exchange for in Boston and in Memphis. The station sale/trade was completed on October 8, 2014. Fox's motivation for acquiring KTVU was that it was another NFL market with an NFC team.

In addition to FTS's aforementioned purchases of Charlotte's WJZY in 2013 and the San Francisco Bay Area's KTVU in 2014, Variety reported that Fox is also interested in acquiring stations in the following other NFL markets: and St. Louis (the latter's had previously been owned by Fox, but was included in the 2007 sale to Local TV; with the St. Louis Rams relocating to Los Angeles starting with the 2016 NFL season, there is no word as to whether or not FTS' pursuit of a station in the St. Louis market has diminished). While discussions with Seattle's Fox affiliate and its owner Tribune Broadcasting remained ongoing, Fox struck a deal on September 19, 2014, to buy , a station in nearby Bellingham, for $10 million; the purchase, submitted for FCC approval on October 3, was described as a "strategic option" for Fox by an insider. Tribune then agreed on October 17 to extend its affiliation agreement for KCPQ through July 2018, and pay increased reverse compensation fees to Fox for the broadcasting of the network's programming beginning in January 2015. Fox's application to acquire KBCB was dismissed by the FCC on November 20, 2014.

On January 20, 2015, it was announced that Fox Television Stations would be a charter launch partner for , a new digital multicast network from and FremantleMedia North America devoted to classic , which launched that June. Later in the year, FTS also agreed to carry Weigel Broadcasting's Heroes & Icons network on subchannels of 11 major market stations.

On April 30, 2017, it was reported that 21st Century Fox was in talks to purchase in a joint venture with the . On May 7, 2017, it was reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group was nearing a deal to purchase Tribune Media, and that 21st Century Fox had dropped its bid for the company. The deal was officially announced the next day. (However, on August 9, 2018, Tribune canceled the Sinclair deal.) On August 2, 2017, it was reported that 21st Century Fox was in talks to form a similar joint venture with in an effort to counter Sinclair and displace Fox affiliations from their stations; analysts felt that the proposed partnership was meant as a bargaining ploy against Sinclair, as it would have to make significant investments into the acquired stations to make them profitable and capable of producing local news programming (Ion stations have historically had few employees or local infrastructure), and that Fox risked losing viewers through these transitions.

In January 2018, the reported that FTS was finalizing a deal to acquire as many as 10 Fox affiliates from Sinclair, as part of an effort to reach FCC approval of its proposed acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal would likely include Seattle's KCPQ (as Sinclair already owns ABC affiliate there), in Oklahoma City (Tribune already owns ), in Salt Lake City (Sinclair already owns ), in St. Louis (Sinclair owns ) and Tribune's Fox/CW duopoly of and in Denver. This deal would bring several former O&Os previously divested to Local TV, LLC (which was acquired by Tribune) back under Fox ownership.

On May 9, 2018, Fox announced it would purchase KCPQ, KDVR, KSTU, in Sacramento, in San Diego, WJW in Cleveland and , the CW affiliate for Miami-Fort Lauderdale. The move would give Fox stations in the home markets for the , , and as the network takes over the Thursday Night Football package from and . After Tribune terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair on August 9, 2018, however, the sale of the seven aforementioned stations to FTS was likewise nullified.


Fox Corporation subsidiary
On December 14, 2017, after rumors of such a sale, The Walt Disney Company announced that it would purchase FTS's parent company, 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion, plus the assumption of $13.7 billion in debt by Fox, subject to government approval. FTS, along with several other assets was spun off into , a company owned by the Murdoch family. The deal was completed on March 20, 2019.

With the loss of Twentieth Television in the deal, Fox Stations set up its own syndication arm, Fox First Run, despite some of their syndicated shows being distributed in conjunction with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.

On November 5, 2019, Nexstar Media Group announced an agreement to sell WITI in Milwaukee (effectively a re-purchase) and and in Seattle to Fox Television Stations, and would purchase from Fox and in Charlotte. This gives Fox additional two bigger NFL team market stations in the Green Bay Packers and while losing the Carolina Panthers market.


Streaming
On January 13, 2020, FTS launched , a free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel targeting the African American community.

Also in 2020, FTS launched LiveNOW from Fox, a streaming news channel jointly operated by KSAZ, KTTV, and WOFL. The channel carries live coverage of breaking news events throughout the day as directed by a small crew of digital journalists, leveraging resources and raw footage from Fox's local news departments. The service originated from a Fox 10 News Now webcast that had been run by KSAZ; amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the channel soft launched a national expansion by becoming "CoronavirusNow" (with contributions from the national Fox News and networks), before adopting its current name later that year.


Units
  • Fox Television Stations
    • 18 Fox owned-and-operated (O&O) stations
    • 10 O&O stations
    • 1 independent station
  • Fox Television Stations Productions
  • Fox First Run (2019—present) first run syndication arm; shows: , , 25 Words or Less, TMZ on TV/TMZ Live/TMZ Sports, You Bet Your Life
  • Fox Soul (January 13, 2020—present)
  • LiveNOW from Fox (previously NewsNow and CoronavirusNOW, 2014-present)
  • Popcorn Entertainment, LLC ( with Weigel Broadcasting)
    • Movies!


Stations
Stations are arranged alphabetically by state and city of license.


Current
Phoenix, AZ ! 101997Fox
! 111986Fox
Oakland–San Jose– ! 22014Fox
Washington, D.C. ! 51986Fox
Ocala–Gainesville, FL ! 512002Fox
Orlando–Daytona Beach, FL ! 352002Fox
Tampa–St. Petersburg, FL ! 131997Fox
! 51997Fox
! 321986Fox
! 21997Fox
–St. Paul, MN ! 92001Fox
New York, NY ! 51986Fox
! 291995Fox
Austin, TX ! KTBC71997Fox
–Fort Worth, TX ! 41997Fox
! KRIV261986Fox
Tacoma– ! 132020Fox
! WITI62020Fox


Former
Birmingham, AL ! 61995–2008Fox affiliate owned by
–Oakland–San Jose, CA ! KBHK-TV442001–2002Independent station , owned by CBS News and Stations
! 311995–2008Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Fort Collins, CO ! KFCT221995–2008Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
! 361993–1995 affiliate owned by Tegna Inc.
! 242001–2013TBD affiliate owned by
! 51986ABC affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Kansas City, MO ! 41997–2008Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
St. Louis, MO ! 21997–2008Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Charlotte, NC ! 462013–2020Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
High Point–Greensboro–Winston-Salem, NC ! 81995–2008Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
! WJW-TV81997–2008Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Portland, OR ! 122001–2002Fox affiliate owned by Gray Television
Memphis, TN ! 131995–2014Fox affiliate owned by Imagicomm Communications
Austin, TX ! K13VC131997–2003Defunct
–Fort Worth, TX ! 331986–1995 owned-and-operated (O&O) station owned by Nexstar Media Group
! KMOL-TV42001 affiliate , owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Salt Lake City, UT ! 131990–2008Fox affiliate owned by the E. W. Scripps Company

This list does not include in Honolulu, in Green Bay, in New Orleans, and in Mobile, Alabama, which are owned by , a joint venture between and Fox television network, they acquired from Burnham Broadcasting prior to the foundation of SF Broadcasting by former Fox executive Barry Diller, which also owns and owned-and-operated stations during the entire period.


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