ATLANTA – March 13, 2015 – Cox Media Group (CMG) will carry LAFF — the country’s first-ever, over-the-air broadcast television network devoted to comedy — on its stations in Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Charlotte and Dayton when the network debuts on April 15, it was announced today.
LAFF will be carried by Cox Media Group stations WSB-TV in Atlanta (On Channel 2.3),WFXT-TV in Boston (25.3), KIRO-TV in Seattle (7.3), WFTV-TV in Orlando (9.3), WPXI-TV (11.3) in Pittsburgh, WSOC-TV in Charlotte (9.2) and WHIO-TV in Dayton (7.3).
“LAFF will be an ideal companion network for our Cox Media Group TV stations in these markets, providing our viewers with unique programming not found on any other network,” commented Jane Williams, Executive Vice President of Television, Cox Media Group.
Today’s announcement is LAFF’s third major distribution agreement: The ABC Owned Television Stations will carry LAFF in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh and Fresno, while the E.W. Scripps Company will also launch LAFF on its stations in Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa, Denver, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Baltimore, San Diego, Kansas City, Cincinnati, West Palm Beach, Buffalo and Tulsa.
These initial agreements make LAFF available to more than 47% of the country to date, with more distribution additions expected to be announced shortly.
“Station group interest in LAFF is strong,” said Jeffrey Wolf, Chief Distribution Officer for LAFF. “LAFF, and our other networks, Escape, Grit as well as Bounce TV, will help station groups and owners grow and prosper in this new world as consumers combine over-the-air television with over-the-top services.”
In addition to growing its affiliate base, LAFF is building its programming line-up, having recently landed the broadcast television rights to more than 800 episodes of some of the most popular sitcoms in contemporary television. In the three individual, multi-year licensing agreements, LAFF acquired all nine seasons of both The Drew Carey Show (233 episodes) and Night Court (193 episodes) from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution; Two series from The Disney/ABC Television Group – Ellen DeGeneres’ first sitcom Ellen (109 episodes) and all seven seasons of Empty Nest (170 episodes) – and Grace Under Fire (112 episodes) starring Brett Butler from Carsey-Werner.
LAFF will feature a mix of contemporary off-network sitcoms and popular theatrical motion pictures, with a target audience of adults 18-49. The LAFF brand will cross multiple platforms, with the linear network carried on the signals of local broadcast television stations and corresponding cable carriage while companion digital content will be available at LAFF.com and via the LAFF app.
LAFF joins GRIT, the first broadcast network targeting men, and ESCAPE, the first over-the-air network designed for women, in the Katz Broadcasting portfolio. Katz Broadcasting was established in 2014 by Bounce TV founder/COO and former Turner Broadcasting executive Jonathan Katz. Katz is President and CEO of the company while also still serving as COO of Bounce TV, the nation’s first and only over-the-air television network for African Americans.
About Cox Media Group Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of CoxReps. Additionally, CMG owns Cox Target Media, which operates Valpak, one of North America’s leading direct marketing companies, and Savings.com, a leading online source for savings. The company’s operations currently include 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 59 radio stations, seven daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services. CMG currently operates in more than 20 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including more than 31 million TV viewers, more than 3.5 million print and online newspaper readers, and more than 14 million radio listeners. For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com.