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Why Tribune Broadcasting dropped Legend of the Seeker

May 4, 2010

I honestly cannot speak for the Tribune Station Group but it appears to me — after having done some research — that Tribune’s inability to pay its bills was the prime cause behind their decision not to renew Legend of the Seeker.

We’re having a debate at SF-Fandom about whether the Save the Seeker campaign is worthwhile. In order to understand the history behind the situation better, I have just compiled a list of news stories about Tribune’s bankruptcy and financial problems.

As far back as December 2008 it was reported that the syndicated shows carried by the Tribune group might be dropped. It was really only a matter of time because Tribune simply could not afford to pay its bills. They have now asked for approval of a restructuring plan that has alarmed some of their creditors (who are challenging the plan).

Tribune’s problems began in 2007 when realtor Sam Zell arranged billions of dollars in debt to buy the company. The economy then tanked, the news industry lost massive revenues, and the Tribune Station Group lost advertising revenues. Tribune fell behind in servicing its debt and therefore had to declare bankruptcy.

Zell’s buyout of the company will now be investigated by an examiner appointed by the U.S. Trustee overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings. Tribunes former CEO, Randy Michels, resigned on Friday and he has been replaced by Jerry Kersting, who has worked with Michels since the buyout. Kersting was also in charge of the station group.

I won’t guess whether there will be changes in Tribune’s strategic policy making — they are not out of the woods yet and have to come up with a business plan that will satisfy the bankruptcy process.

We’re probably lucky we got a second season of Legend of the Seeker.

The Nielsen Company tracks 210 Designated Market Areas (DMAs) in the United States. Tribune’s 23 television stations cover 22 of the largest markets (including 11 of the top 20 markets).

If my information is correct, ABC Studios needs to find TV stations in the following markets to keep Legend of the Seeker in production. Markets are listed in order of size:

  1. New York City
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Chicago
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Dallas-Ft. Worth
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Houston
  8. Tacoma-Seattle
  9. Denver
  10. Miami-Ft. Laurderdale
  11. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto
  12. St. Louis
  13. Salem-Portland, OR
  14. Indianapolis
  15. Bloominton, IN
  16. Kokomo, IN
  17. San Diego
  18. Hartford-New Haven, CT
  19. Waterbury, CT
  20. York-Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon, PA
  21. Grand Rapids-Battle Creek-Kalamazoo, MI
  22. New Orleans

The vast majority of these stations are affiliates of Fox or The CW. Remember, local TV stations fill their non-network time (usually) with syndicated programming.

NOTE: Fox dropped The Family Guy for a couple of years and then picked the show back up after it sold 2 million DvDs. So even if ABC kills the show, there may still be a chance if we can buy enough DvDs.

ABC Studios and Disney, are you listening?

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4 comments

  1. Save the Seeker!

    I’m trying to get the message out to the fans on my site. Let me know if there’s more contact information.


  2. I received this from a sponsor…so it is helpful to write

    Thank You for Contacting Us!

    Hi James,

    Thank you for visiting http://www.nabiscoworld.com.

    I appreciate your calling to let us know how happy you are with our sponsorship of the program “Legend of the Seeker”.

    I will forward your comments to our Marketing and Advertising staffs for their benefit and review.

    If you haven’t done so already, please add our site to your favorites and visit us again soon!

    Kim McMillerAssociate Director, Consumer Relations

    ——————————————————————

    In the past, you have advertised on the television “Legend of the Seeker”. It’s popularity is soaring because of loyal fan base. I would urge you to continue doing so if the program is renewed.

    Have a question? Feel free to view our Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.Kraftfoods.com or you can call us at 800-323-0768 Monday through Friday.

    Kraft Foods GlobalConsumer Relations1 Kraft CourtGlenview, IL 60025


  3. […] Attention Fans of Legend of the Seeker: The show is NOT officially cancelled. If you save Legend of the Seeker, you save Tabrett Bethell and her role as Cara. Although I am still holding out hope for another season of Legend of the Seeker, so we can see more of Tabrett Bethell in her leather suit, sources are saying the show has been cancelled. Entertainment Weekly has reported that there have been no takers in picking up the show and this might explain why tribune broadcasting dropped the Legend of the Seeker. […]


  4. […] why Tribune Broadcasting dropped Legend of the Seeker so that you can respond to buffoons who say the show has been […]



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