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Thursday, August 25, 2011

WTHI-TV picks up Fox affiliation in Terre Haute: "MyFox10" to debut Sept. 1

UPDATE, 5:30 p.m.:  Details are continuing to emerge on MyFox10.  It will broadcast on channel 10.2 over the air, there will be a 10:00 p.m. newscast, and will be carried on cable and satellite in the Wabash Valley.  More details on channels will be announced soon.  To keep up with the latest, you can check out the station's Facebook page and website.

Television viewers in the Terre Haute market (and those in the northern part of the Tri-State who do not receive Fox44 WEVV) will not have to do without Fox programming after all, as the network has announced this morning that it has entered into a new affiliation agreement with LIN Media-owned CBS affiliate WTHI-TV 10.

 “We are pleased to offer Fox’s premium lineup of programs on our digital channel in Terre Haute,” said LIN President-CEO Vincent L. Sadusky. “Together with WTHI-TV, we aim to strengthen our leading position in the market.”

The new MyFox10 will air on one of WTHI-TV's digital subchannels beginning Sept. 1, replacing Mission Broadcasting's soon-to-be-former WFXW-Fox 38 as the area's Fox affiliate. Nexstar Broadcasting, which operates WFXW under a shared services agreement, announced earlier this summer that it would switch that station's affiliation to ABC and rebrand it as WAWV.

WTHI, which has been a primary CBS affiliate since it first signed on in July 1954, will continue to air CBS programming on channel 10.1.  It has not been announced which of the station's subchannels will be used for Fox, although a safe bet would be channel 10.2, which is currently used for TheCoolTV.

MyFox10 will be LIN's seventh Fox affiliate; the company also has Fox stations in Portsmouth-Norfolk, Va.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Providence, R.I.–New Bedford, Mass.; Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla.; Green Bay-Appleton, Wis.; and Toledo, Ohio.

“LIN is one of FOX’s strongest affiliate groups, and we are thrilled to expand our already successful partnership,” said Jon Hookstratten, Fox EVP, network distribution.  “In an ever-changing television marketplace, it’s key that Fox continues to grow our relationships with progressive media companies like LIN.  With their track record, we are confident this partnership in Terre Haute will be a big success.”

WTHI's addition of Fox means that, for the first time, all four major network affiliations will be broadcast in the market, eliminating the need for area cable and satellite systems to import a distant station, as has been the case for ABC since 1995, when the station then known as WBAK dropped ABC for Fox.  Since that time, cable subscribers in communities throughout the market have received either WEHT-NEWS 25 from Evansville, WICD-NewsChannel 15 from Champaign, Ill., or WRTV-6 from Indianapolis for ABC programming.  With WAWV's arrival and WTHI's move today, it would appear that importation will likely cease soon in many of those communities.

█ WTHI-TV is available on cable systems in the northern portion of the Tri-State, including Lawrenceville, Olney and Flora, Ill.; Vincennes and Washington, Ind., and surrounding communities.  Cable carriage of the new channel is not yet known, but I will publish that information as soon as I have it.

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