Tribune, CBS settle payments on syndicated product

CBS Television Distribution and Tribune have agreed on a settlement to reduce the license fees the bankrupt television group has to pay to the syndicator.

CBS agreed to an $1.2 million payment from Tribune – down from $2.4 million it owed, according to bankruptcy filing papers.

The deal covers all CBS Television Distribution properties on the 26-station Tribune group, from Everybody Loves Raymond (in 11 markets) to Matlock and Andy Griffith Show reruns on WGN-TV (at 3:30 a.m.!) to Star Trek: The Next Generation on WGN America (Raymond had aired on 16 Tribune stations in the first cycle, but dropped to 11 after Fox-owned stations acquired the rights to the show in five big markets, including Chicago.)

It also covers WGN’s acquisition of Rachael Ray from CBS-owned WBBM-TV, for airing at 10 a.m. beginning on Sept. 14.

Other syndicators have yet to reach similar agreements with Tribune.

CBS is a very important client to Tribune. The station group acquired rerun rights to Next Generation (no word though, if WGN is included in the deal for the Chicago market) and T.D. Jakes’ new talk show, scheduled to debut in 2010.