Hearst Stations ‘Actively Seeking’ to End DirecTV Blackout

By Kevin Eck 

Hearst stations are letting DirecTV subscribers know they haven’t forgotten them.

The stations posted an update on their respective websites saying they are “actively seeking” to end the blackout, which started Sunday after the two couldn’t reach a new retransmission deal.

We got the quote below from WTAE in Pittsburgh, which is attributed to that station’s GM. Every station posted the same announcement, but added its own GM to the statement.


“Our negotiating team has been ready and available around-the-clock, including throughout the holiday weekend, to engage in substantive negotiations with DirecTV; however, we’ve been thwarted by what appears to be a strategy of unrealistic proposals and outright delay by a national distributor that does not seek to serve their subscribers or local communities,” said WTAE president & GM Charles W. Wolfertz III. “Unfortunately, our viewers are the ones who suffer from DirecTV’s delay campaign. Nonetheless, Hearst Television will continue its good faith efforts to reach a deal that is both fair for our viewers and recognizes the value that WTAE Channel 4 has invested in its local news and programming”

Hearst owns and operates radio and TV stations in 26 markets that reach over 21 million U.S. television households.

“Our station’s over-the-air signal has always been, and continues to be, free to all viewers,” said Wolfertz. “But we expect fair compensation from any business that seeks to profit from our service and valuable programming.”