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Spokane’s KAYU is happy to be a member of the Fox flock

August 28, 1988

By Tom Sowa
The Spokesman-Review

There’s no local grumbling – publicly anyway – about the Fox Broadcasting network, the television enterprise that Rupert Murdoch wants to make the equal of ABC, CBS and NBC.

“We’re a totally satisfied Fox affiliate,” said Bob Hamacher, owner and general manager of KAYU-TV (Channel 28). KAYU, one of 122 affiliate Fox stations, receives 10 ½ hours of programs per week from the fledgling network.

Recently, three Fox affiliates – in Minneapolis, Portland and Tampa, Fla. – quit the network. The three ended their relationship when they were forbidden by Fox from tampering with the network’s Saturday evening lineup.

Hamacher has no interest in becoming the fourth defector.

“We do just fine with our non-Fox programs,” the main one of them being “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” That program, which airs Saturdays at 7 and 11 p.m., has earned the 6-year-old Spokane station its best TV ratings in this market.

Fox gives KAYU the Monday-Friday “Late Show,” two hours of Saturday evening programs, and 3 ½ hours on Sunday night.

Nationwide, Fox affiliates have not been drawing good ratings with the Saturday lineup. Programs have come and gone all year, such as the war-adventure series “The Dirty Dozen,” which ran about four weeks and was canceled.

Ironically, that show did well in Spokane, where it drew a 4 rating – meaning 4 percent of all TVs on at that hour were watching the show. That’s the highest Saturday rating a Fox program drew here, Hamacher said.

But the same show did poorly in the larger East and West Coast cities, prompting its cancellation.

This fall, Fox hopes to improve its Saturday schedule by carrying “The Reporters,” a news magazine program, and “Beyond Tomorrow,” a science-fiction-based adventure series.

Fox’s Sunday night programming “doesn’t need to be fixed,” according to Hamacher. The lineup offers Fox’s best-rated shows, including the comedy hits “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Tracey Ullman Show.”

“We feel very good about where Fox is going. What they do on Sunday gives us the right kind of demographics – a younger audience.”

Fox has talked about adding another night – Monday – to its production schedule next summer. “We won’t make a move that way until we’ve fixed Saturday; that is, until our affiliates are making money,” said David Ferrara, director of Fox’s affiliate devision.

Fox launched its network of programs in 1986 with “The Late Show,” the vehicle for talk show host Joan Rivers that bombed.

Last year Fox’s production companies lost $80 million. Murdoch, the Australian press mogul who recently made a bid to purchase TV Guide, has said the network will lose no more than $40 million this year.

Saturday, August 28, 1988

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From → KAYU

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