September 13, 2006
Sprint Nextel, Tribune Broadcasting and Hearst-Argyle- Owned Television Stations Agree on Framework for Spectrum Relocation
Sprint Nextel Media Contact:
Tim O'Regan, 703-433-4816
Tribune Media Contact:
Gary Weitman, 312-222-3394
Hearst-Argyle Media Contact:
Tom Campo, 212-887-6827
RESTON, Va., CHICAGO and NEW YORK — 09/13/2006
Today Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), Tribune Broadcasting and Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. (NYSE: HTV) announced completion of Frequency Relocation Agreements (FRA) for one each of the broadcasters' group-owned stations as part of the 2 GHz Relocation project.
Under terms of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 800 MHz Order, 2 GHz Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) licensees, which include the Tribune and Hearst-Argyle-owned stations, must relocate to new spectrum assignments by September 2007. Sprint Nextel is responsible for reimbursing BAS licensees for the cost of relocating to comparable facilities within the 2 GHz spectrum band. BAS licensees use this spectrum to transmit local news from remote locations back to the studio. One agreement covers Tribune-owned WGN in Chicago and the other covers Hearst-Argyle-owned WESH in Orlando.
The FCC has licensed Sprint Nextel to use a portion of the 2 GHz band for commercial mobile radio services upon relocation of the BAS licensees. The agreements announced today will allow the companies to move ahead with the relocation process and assist the broadcasters in their transition to digital broadcast news services.
Commenting on the agreement, Ira Goldstone, Chief Technology Officer for Tribune Broadcasting said, "We're pleased to move forward with the FCC-mandated 2 GHz relocation, enabling our Tribune-owned station to continue their critical local news gathering and reporting operations. Our agreement serves the interests of both Sprint Nextel and Tribune."
"WESH-TV, our NBC station in Orlando, is moving forward in ordering equipment directly related to the mandated BAS relocation," said Martin Faubell, Hearst-Argyle Vice President, Engineering. "It is our expectation, when plans are complete, for other Hearst-Argyle markets to follow shortly."
Michael Degitz, vice president of spectrum management for Sprint Nextel added, "We continue completing agreements across the country with BAS licensees and our agreements with Tribune and Hearst-Argyle are a testament to the hard work of all involved. Both Tribune and Hearst-Argyle have demonstrated leadership in the broadcast industry by reaching agreement with Sprint Nextel. We look forward to announcing other agreements soon, following the engagement and cooperation of additional licensees."
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
About Tribune Broadcasting
Tribune Broadcasting owns and operates 25 television stations concentrated in major markets and Superstation WGN on national cable. The group's combined reach is more than 80 percent of U.S. television households. Tribune Broadcasting also includes Los Angeles-based Tribune Entertainment, a developer and distributor of first-run television programming for the Tribune station group and for national syndication; Chicago's WGN-AM; and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Investment interests include Comcast SportsNet Chicago (25% owned) and TV Food Network (31%).
Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. owns 26 television stations, and manages an additional three television and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company's television stations reach approximately 18% of U.S. TV households, making it one of America's largest television station groups. Hearst-Argyle owns 12 ABC-affiliated stations, and manages an additional ABC station owned by Hearst Corporation, and is the largest ABC affiliate group. The Company also owns 10 NBC affiliates, and is the second-largest NBC affiliate owner, and owns two CBS affiliates.
Hearst-Argyle also is a leader in the convergence of local broadcast television and the Internet through its partnership with Internet Broadcasting, and in the application of digital broadcast spectrum for new local informational services through its Weather Plus partnership with NBC and various NBC affiliate groups.
Hearst-Argyle is majority owned by Hearst Corporation. Hearst-Argyle Series A Common Stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HTV." HTV debt is rated investment grade by Moody's (Baa3), Standard & Poor's (BBB-) and Fitch (BBB-), each with a stable outlook. The company's Web address is www.hearstargyle.com.