LATV Debuts in Sacramento; Adds Fourth Tribune Affiliate

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LATV, the bilingual multicast-distributed network, this month signed on its fourth Tribune affiliate, KTXL, covering Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Calif., ranked the nation’s 11th largest Hispanic market. The Los Angeles-based network began broadcasting Dec. 5 on the station’s second-tier, channel 40.2.

“The California market is, of course, extremely important to us,” LATV president and chief operating officer Howard Bolter told Hispanic TV Update. “And with this recent addition, we have the state pretty much covered.”

The Sacramento addition also marked LATV’s 35th affiliate nationwide to date, and it came on the heels of the Tribune Co. filing for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, something that, according to Bolter, is not expected to have a negative impact on LATV’s affiliation agreements with the embattled media giant.

“[Tribune] made sure to tell us not to worry; that their financial restructuring will not affect us,” Bolter said. “We actually provide them an opportunity to bring additional revenue.”

Tribune this year signed an affiliation agreement with LATV, adding New York and Chicago as digital multicast affiliates.

Launched almost two years ago with the goal of targeting the underserved bilingual population, LATV now reaches 40 million households nationwide, and it has managed to extend its national footprint in nearly every key DMA around the country. LATV, which offers a mix of music, films and general entertainment for the bilingual crowd, is bracing for a tough 2009, which is expected to hit the world of Hispanic media hard. But Bolter said, “We’re trying to be optimistic. By being smaller than other networks, we have the opportunity to do things quicker.”

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