Scripps Is Buying Several Popular Over-the-Air TV Networks




Correction E.W. Scripps has split their company into two parts. One company owns the over the air TV networks the other owns HGTV etc. E.W. Scripps now no longer owns the HGTV after that split a few years ago.

Yesterday E.W. Scripps Co, the owner of many over the air TV networks, announced a deal to buy Katz Broadcasting Networks.

Katz owns several popular over-the-air TV networks such as Bounce TV, Grit, Escape, and Laff. It seems that Scripps is hoping to counter the growing trend of cord cutting by becoming a bigger player in the world of free over-the-air TV.

“In today’s fragmented television ecosystem, a growing number of viewers are consuming content from new over-the-air networks as a complement to over-the-top services,” said Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president-CEO. “The entrepreneurs at Katz were among the first to take full advantage of this resurgence in over-the-air viewing. We were early investors in the company, and it’s a strategy and team we know well.

Founder Jonathan Katz will stay on as head of the networks, and it will remain in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

Scripps was already a part owner of Katz Broadcast Networks, owning 5% of the network. Now it is taking over the full company when the deal closes in October 2017, but before that can happen there are still some regulatory hurdles it will have to clear.

According to Katz Broadcasting each network covers over 80% of American households.

Katz describes each network as follows:

Bounce TV was launched in 2011 and is the first and only African-American broadcast network on television. The Bounce programming lineup features original dramas and off-network series, movies, specials, live sports, and more.

Grit, which launched in 2014 targeting men ages 25–54, offers a lineup of Western, war, and action films.

Escape, also launched in 2014 to reach women ages 25–54, offers programming anchored in stories of investigation and mystery.

Laff, the nation’s first over-the-air network devoted to comedy around the clock, went live in 2015 with contemporary off-network sitcoms and popular movies geared toward an audience of adults ages 18–49.

Want to see if you get any of these channels? Check out to find out what you can get with an antenna.

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