Scripps announces agreement to affiliate WCPO-TV with ABC

Tue, August 26, 1997 by Tim King

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Cincinnati television station WCPO (Channel 9) will return to its network roots early next year through an affiliation change to ABC.The 10-year agreement, signed and announced today by the station’s owner, The E.W. Scripps Company, calls for WCPO to begin airing ABC network programming next year. "We’ve had a wonderful relationship with CBS. We believe they have a solid future and we wish them well," said James M. Hart, senior vice president of Scripps’ television station group. "However, ABC’s offer to match up Cincinnati’s number one news station with America’s number one network is in the best interest of WCPO as we look toward the future."A precise date for the conversion from CBS to ABC programming is yet to be established. "It’s important to note that WCPO’s strong local newscasts as well as its lineup of highly rated syndicated shows, such as Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Oprah, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, will remain unchanged," said J.B. Chase, vice president and general manager of WCPO.WCPO went on the air in July 1949 and was Cincinnati’s ABC affiliate from the network’s inception until 1961."We’re thrilled that WCPO has agreed to return to the fold," said Maureen Lesourd, senior vice president of affiliate relations for the ABC network. "Scripps and WCPO share our deep commitment to news and entertainment of the highest quality. This will be a winning combination for Cincinnati’s viewers."WCPO will be the sixth ABC affiliate owned by Scripps. WFTS in Tampa, KNXV in Phoenix and WMAR in Baltimore began airing ABC programming in 1994 and early 1995, joining long-time affiliates WXYZ in Detroit and WEWS in Cleveland. Scripps also operates NBC affiliates: WPTV in West Palm Beach, KJRH in Tulsa and KSHB in Kansas City.In addition to the TV station group, Scripps owns 18 daily newspapers (including The Post in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky) and cable television systems with 751,000 basic subscribers.Through its entertainment division Scripps operates: United Media, a worldwide syndicator and licensor of news features and comics; Scripps Howard Productions, a producer of television programming; Home & Garden Television, a 24-hour cable channel; and Cinetel Productions, a leading producer of programs for cable networks.