Fox is considering creating a joint venture with ION Media bundling all their stations together, Bloomberg reports.
ION, formerly Paxson Communications, owns or operates 60 TV stations across the country, including in some of the biggest markets like New York City (WPXN), Chicago (WCPX) and Philadelphia (WPPX).
But it is the stations in medium and smaller markets that Fox would consider moving its affiliation. Bloomberg reports this may be a negotiating tactic with Sinclair which owns 30 stations that are Fox affiliates including Sinclair flagship WBFF in Baltimore, KOKH in Oklahoma City, WPGH in Pittsburgh, WZTV in Nashville, and WLUK in Green Bay. 26 Sinclair-owned Fox affiliates are up for renewal this year.
Of those markets mentioned, ION owns stations in Oklahoma City (KOPX), Pittsburgh (WINP) and Nashville (WNPX) but none has a local news presence. And building one from scratch would be costly and time-consuming.
Bloomberg also reports that Fox may look to remove its affiliation from 14 stations owned by Tribune, which Sinclair is in the process of acquiring. Tribune-owned Fox affiliates include KDVR in Denver, WITI in Milwaukee, KCPQ in Seattle, KSTU in Salt Lake City and KTXL in Sacramento.