WDRB Attempts to Renew Contract With Fox, Establish Own Identity

by Gabe Bullard on May 20, 2011

For the last few months, executives at Louisville television station WDRB—commonly called Fox 41—have been renegotiating the station’s contract to remain a Fox Network affiliate. That’s fueled speculation that WDRB is at risk of losing the affiliation. But the station is only planning to drop Fox from its name, and not its airwaves.

General Manager Bill Lamb says WDRB previously leaned on its Fox affiliation to establish itself, but now the station should stand on its own.

“WHAS is not known as ABC-11. WAVE is not known as NBC-3. They’re known by their call letters. And we are simply evolving to that point where we have gotten so strong on our own merits that we want to stand on our two feet and not be leaning on our network partner,” he says. “Louisville has four very good television stations. But it has no great television stations, truly great. And that’s what we’re working on becoming, is Louisville’s great television station.”

Lamb further says the move toward WDRB and away from Fox 41 will make it clear to the small number of viewers who associate the station with the Fox News cable network, which is often criticized as having a conservative slant.

Lamb’s recent negotiations with Fox have centered around how much WDRB should pay to carry the Fox name and broadcast several hours of Fox programming each day. Lamb says there’s no

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