Qwest for Television Broadcasting Gold: Quincy Jones Forms Station Group with Entertainment Heavyweights
Lowery, Mark, Black Enterprise
Quincy Jones has joined former NFL great Willie Davis and television giants Geraldo Rivera and Don Cornelius to form a minority-controlled broadcasting company.
The new company, Qwest Broadcasting, has agreed to pay $167 million to buy WATL in Atlanta from Fox Broadcasting and WNOL in New Orleans from Quincy Jones Broadcasting. At press time, both transactions were awaiting approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
The Tribune Co., which will own 45% of Qwest Broadcasting, has competing stations in both those markets. The FCC prohibits companies from owning two television stations in the same market. But, Tribune officials say they will not be considered owners of Qwest's Atlanta or New Orleans stations, since they possess less than 50% of the stock in either station.
Industry analysts believe the stations will save money because they'll be able to consolidate many administrative positions. The loosely affiliated stations are expected to take advantage of this unique situation by offering programming that simultaneously attracts different viewing groups.
Jones, who owns the recording company Qwest Records, says the new broadcasting company will be based in-Los Angeles. He hopes to acquire many more television stations across the country. "Qwest Broadcasting is setting out on a mission to create a viable alternative to what is currently on television," says Jones, who has won 26 Grammy Awards and one Emmy, and who was named to the BE ENTERTAINMENT POWER BROKER 50.
"Qwest is a rare opportunity to join the talents, interests and resources of these partners with the operational expertise and resources of Tribune," continues Jones, who will be chairman and CEO of the new company.
Tribune owns eight television and six radio stations and publishes six daily newspapers. "The promise of Qwest Broadcasting is real and unlimited," said Dennis Fitzsimons, Tribune executive vice president. …