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WDRB Renews Fox Affiliation

Louisville television station WDRB has renewed its contract with Fox.

The talks took up most of the year and the terms are private. The station’s affiliation agreement with Fox dictates how the station can broadcast national programming and carry the network name.

Earlier this year, WDRB dropped the Fox41 name from many of its local broadcasts promotional materials. General Manager Bill Lamb told WFPL at the time that the Fox name helped establish the station when the call letters were not widely known. Dropping Fox, he said, gives the station its own identity. He said the move was not an attempt to distance the station from the conservative Fox News Channel.

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Local News

WDRB Attempts to Renew Contract With Fox, Establish Own Identity

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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Local News

Local NAACP Protests NY Post Cartoon

The Louisville chapter of the NAACP wants Louisville’s Fox television station’s general manager to take a stand against a controversial editorial cartoon, which depicts a chimpanzee shot by police and makes reference to the economic stimulus package endorsed by President Obama.

The cartoon was printed in the New York Post earlier this month. It prompted a wave of criticism calling the piece racially offensive. On Thursday, 70 NAACP chapters around the country protested the cartoon. In Louisville, the chapter delivered a letter to Fox TV affiliate WDRB.

Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the New York Post. Lousville NAACP chapter president Raoul Cunningham says he hopes the station’s manager will take a stand against the cartoon with Fox management.

The cartoonist has said he did not intend for his work to offend anyone, but Cunningham says that’s not the issue.

“No question about that. No matter what he intended, he offended,” says Cunningham.

Rupert Murdoch has apologized for the cartoon. Cunningham says he wants Murdoch to take action against the cartoonist and the editor.