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CBS Television Sues ABC Affiliate

NEW YORK: CBS Television Distribution is suing the ABC affiliate serving Providence, R.I., over unpaid syndication fees. CBS alleges that WLNE-TV owes $2.1 million for airing five syndies, according to published reports. WLNE stopped airing the shows--“ET,” “Dr. Phil,” “The Insider,” “Inside Edition,” and “Rachel Ray”--June 5, but CBS TV Distribution said doing so was a breach of contract and is seeking $5 million from the station.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court this week, according to WLNE is owned by Global Broadcasting of San Francisco and Providence. The station has been trying to renegotiate its syndie terms with CTVD, to no avail, the Providence Business Newssaid. WLNE, like so many other TV stations across the country, is under financial pressure from the diminishing ad market. Total ad revenues fell by nearly 9 percent between 2007 and 2008, according to BIA numbers picked up by PBN.

Global went into the TV business when it bought the WLNE from Freedom Communications of Irvine, Calif., in late 2007 for a reported $14 million. -- Deborah D. McAdams