Scripps and Raycom announce shared services agreement in West Palm Beach

Fri, March 11, 2011 by Tim King

The E.W. Scripps Company and Raycom Media, Inc. have entered into a shared services agreement involving WPTV, the Scripps-owned NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Fla., and WFLX, the market's Raycom-owned Fox affiliate.

Under the terms of the agreement, Raycom has contracted with Scripps to provide services involving technical, promotional and online operations and certain local programming for WFLX under Raycom's direction as licensee. Raycom will continue to program the station and conduct all advertising sales.

To accommodate this arrangement, WPTV will invest in additional equipment and facility improvements, and hire additional employees, which may include current WFLX employees.

The shared service agreement is an expansion of a relationship between the two stations that began on Jan. 1, 2011, when WPTV started producing 17 hours of WFLX-branded newscasts each week for Raycom. The agreement is an operational arrangement that entails no change in ownership of either station.

Starting around June 1, 2011, the business offices of WFLX will lease space within WPTV's facilities, in space that will be separate from the rest of WPTV's operation.

"This is a mutually beneficial arrangement because the enhanced relationship allows WFLX to operate more efficiently while giving WPTV the opportunity to generate more revenue from its staff and infrastructure," said Brian Lawlor, senior vice president of television for Scripps. "We're excited to work with Raycom in a way that makes both stations stronger and preserves the options enjoyed by the market's viewers and advertisers."

"This agreement will help us to maintain WFLX's long-standing commitment to West Palm Beach," said Paul McTear, president and CEO of Raycom Media, Inc.  "By sharing back-office and other expenses with WPTV, we will be able to use our resources to increase the diversity of our news and local programming and continue to serve West Palm with the high-quality local and national programming that our community deserves."

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