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KXLY-AM-FM-TV-Cable set to debut

March 14, 1994

Group owner launches cable channel in Spokane

By Rich Brown
Broadcasting & Cable

Talk about synergy. Beginning next month, households in Spokane, Wash., will have the option of tuning in to a TV station, an AM station, an FM station and even a local cable channel all owned by the same company.

KXLY Extra!, a new local cable channel from ABC affiliate KXLY-TV Spokane, debuts on April 4 with a line-up that will include syndicated shows such as Star Trek and The Golden Girls as well as a broad range of original news and talk programming. Much of the original programming will be either a rebroadcast or a simulcast of programming aired on KXLY-TV, KXLY (AM) or KXLY-FM.

New shows on the cable channels will include NewsTalk, a twice-daily, half-hour call-in show that will immediately follow the KXLY-TV news at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Viewers and listeners to NewsTalk—which will be simulcast on KXLY (AM)—will be invited to call in to discuss issues and breaking news seen on the preceding newscast.

Other original programing on the cable channel will include expanded local and regional news coverage not featured on KXLY’s TV and radio stations, including news specifically designed for North Idaho.

The bulk of the KXLY Extra! schedule during the week will feature news and information programing. In addition to NewsTalk, the daily schedule will include four delayed broadcasts and three simulcasts of news programs airing on KXLY-TV. The overnight schedule and various time slots during the day will be filled with programing from All News Channel, the Minneapolis-based syndicated news service. Rounding out the schedule will be movies and other syndicated programing, including a movie every weeknight at 9 p.m.

Among cable operators carrying the channel will be Cox Cable, which is the main career in the Spokane area with roughly 86,000 households. Others carrying the channel include Cablevision, which serves approximately 16,000 households, including Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and other North Idaho communities. Agreements are in place with other are cable systems to launch later this year.

Advertising on the channel will be sold to KXLY, and the cable systems will not share in the ad revenue, says Geoerge Kessler, director of marketing, But there will be an ongoing review of the cable channel and there could be some potential for revenue sharing down the road, he adds.

KXLY is not, technically speaking, a retransmission-consent channel. The companies involved say that the channel was in the works long before passage of the 1992 Cable Act. But the companies also say that the project was helped along by the law, which entitles local television stations to negotiate a fee or other compensation from a cable system operator in exchange for carriage of their broadcast signal.

Many other such channels are in the works. Top multiple system cable operator Tele-Communications Inc., for example, has deals with at least 30 broadcasters to program second channels. Among those already up-and-running is The Pittsburgh Cable News Channel, a TCI-WPXI (TV) joint venture that debuted in January.

Monday, March 14, 1994

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