Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

ABC Oks Move to Kdnl Channel 30 Gains 10-Year Agreement

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

ABC Oks Move to Kdnl Channel 30 Gains 10-Year Agreement

Article excerpt

Roseanne, Home Improvement and NYPD Blue will head to Channel 30 next summer.

The ABC television network has reached a 10-year agreement to air on KDNL (Channel 30) in St. Louis beginning in mid-1995, the companies said Friday.

The deal will set off a flip-flop of network affiliations for Channels 30 and 2.

KTVI (Channel 2), the current ABC station in St. Louis, is set to join the Fox network next year as part of a deal announced three months ago.

KTVI is being bought by New World Communications, which has formed a $500 million, 12-station joint venture with Fox.

The ABC agreement is a lifesaver for Channel 30 and another coup for Barry Baker, its owner-dealmaker. Signing on with ABC not only prevents Baker's flagship station from possibly being knocked out of competition by its loss of Fox, but probably positions it for future growth.

"To go from a fledgling Fox station when Fox was a newcomer to becoming affiliated with the No. 1 network is beyond my wildest dreams," said Baker, president and chief executive of River City Broadcasting.

River City Broadcasting owns Channel 30 and radio stations KPNT-FM (105.7) and WFXB-FM (101.1) in St. Louis. It also owns television stations in Des Moines, Iowa, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Ind., and San Antonio., The companyis in the process of buying four more television stations and three radio stations.

Baker, a former executive at KPLR (Channel 11), and partner Larry Marcus, another KPLR alum, founded River City in 1988 when they bought Channel 30 from Cox Broadcasting Co.

"River City is an exciting, energetic company of broadcasters focused fully on operating successful television stations," Thomas S. Murphy, chairman and chief executive of Capital Cities/ABC said in a prepared statement. "We are delighted to join them in their commitment to quality television now and into the 21st century."

The biggest change coming at Channel 30 will be the creation of its own local newscasts - a requirement for ABC affiliates. …

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