In today’s editions of Crain’s Chicago Business, the business paper asks if Tyra Banks can boost Tribune Co.? According to the article, Tribune’s CW stations in the top three markets (WPIX– New York, KTLA — Los Angeles, WGN — Chicago) have posted gains to the tune of +11% in households, and (more importantly) up 17% from last year, thanks to the addition of shows like America’s Next Top Model, which stars former supermodel turned talk-show host Ms. Banks. (Top Model ran on UPN last year; the Tribune stations were WB affiliates.) However, ratings are down in most of the other metered markets, and down nationally. This may help explain why NewsCorp’s MyNetworkTV, a new network launched 13 days before the launch of the CW, is struggling in the top three markets, and elsewhere (Asides from the programming sucking.) There appears to be an uncertain future for both fledgling networks as they have been national ratings disappointments as viewers continue to flee broadcast television for cable, satellite, DVDs, and broadband video from the internet, hitting nontraditional affiliates (not affiliated with ABC, CBS, or NBC) the hardest as they struggle to attract and maintain audiences.
Crain’s is also reporting that other potential bidders, besides Gannett, include MediaNews Group (owner of papers in San Jose and Denver) and various investor groups.