Fox and Nexstar have been locked in a long battle over cable and satellite retransmission fees. Throughout the past several months, Fox has been cutting loose Nexstar-owned stations, forcing them to forge new affiliations in their respective markets. WFFT is the second Nexstar-owned station to announce it will become independent after losing its Fox affiliation — the other one is Evansville’s WTVW.
The independent WFFT will launch August 1. The station will add news coverage across its broadcasts, with the 10 p.m. weekday newscast to be expanded to a full hour this summer and the 10 p.m. weekend newscast to be expanded to a full hour this fall. Nexstar also announced today that as part of the transition, WFFT will debut high definition programming in October. It will be the first station in the market to make the HD switch.
“We are raising our commitment to providing the most relevant, topical, and engaging programming to our Fort Wayne viewers and we are advancing that initiative by being the first to broadcast in full high definition,” station VP-GM Bill Ritchhart said in a statement.
The fate of the remaining Nexstar-owned Fox affiliates remains unknown.