Limited liability company
|Founded||February 3, 2014|
|Jonathan Katz (President/CEO)|
Jeffrey Wolf (Chief Distribution Officer)
Number of employees
|Parent||E. W. Scripps Company|
|Footnotes / references|
Katz Broadcasting, LLC, doing business as Katz Networks, is an American specialized digital multicasting network media company and a subsidiary of E. W. Scripps Company. The company owns (as of 2019) five television networks that each carry programming with specified formats targeted at individual demographics.
Originally, Katz sold the network to affiliated TV stations via ad split, but by October 2015, had moved to carriage fees in exchange for the network getting the ad inventory due to greater inventory with stations adding a third or fourth subchannel.:1 Their networks used direct response advertising as a meter of viewers before switching to Nielsen rating C-3.:3
Katz Broadcasting, LLC was founded on February 3, 2014 by Jonathan Katz, who serves as chief operating officer of Bounce TV and formerly served as an executive at the Turner Broadcasting System. The company was announced concurrently with the announced launches of its first two networks, Escape and Grit, which were both launched that April with Univision and UniMás owned-and-operated stations run by Univision Communications serving as its charter station group; both of Katz's initial networks are targeted at individual genders (with Grit aimed at men and Escape aimed at women). Besides Jonathan Katz, some of the initial investors included some Bounce investors notably Raycom Media and Al Haymon. At some point, E. W. Scripps Company also becomes an owner purchasing 5% of the company.
Katz and Bounce Media share staff from the former company's launch, including Jonathan Katz (who serves as president and chief executive officer of Katz, while continuing to serve as chief operating officer) and Jeffrey Wolf (Katz's chief distribution officer and Bounce's executive vice president of network distribution). Katz and Bounce continued to share executive staff with the hiring announcement of Jim Weiss (a former executive at sports marketing agency CSE) as the former's senior vice president of corporate communications in August.
On January 18, 2015, Katz Broadcasting announced the launch of its third specialty network, Laff, a comedy-focused network that was tapped for an April 15 debut with ABC Owned Television Stations and Scripps serving as its core charter affiliate groups. On March 24, 2015, Katz signed a multi-network agreement with the Meredith Corporation that would add all three Katz-owned networks to Meredith-owned stations in five markets, boosting Laff's national coverage to 50%, Escape's to 58%, and Grit's to 78% of all U.S. television markets. Escape and Grit switched from direct response advertising as a meter of viewers to Neilsen rating C-3 late 2015 with Laff expected to follow suit.:3
On June 15, 2016, Katz Broadcasting signed a multi-network agreement with Nexstar Broadcasting Group and operated affiliated TV station companies that would bring all three Katz-owned networks (as well as Bounce TV) to stations owned and/or operated by Nexstar in 54 markets, jumping national coverage of both Escape and Laff to 85% and Grit's coverage to 93%.
On August 1, 2017, Scripps announced the purchase of Katz and its three networks plus Bounce which Katz operates, for $292 million, acquiring the other 95% of the company. Katz will remain based out of Atlanta, Georgia as an autonomous division of Scripps. The purchase was completed on October 2, 2017.
In December 2018, Turner Broadcasting sold the rights to the brand and programming library of defunct cable network Court TV (which relaunched as TruTV in 2008) to Katz, with plans to re-launch it as an over-the-air digital network in May 2019. On September 30, 2019, Katz Broadcasting rebranded Escape as Court TV Mystery to make it a Court TV brand extension.