Hearst Stations Blacked Out on DirecTV Over Retrans Fight

By Kevin Eck 

Viewers of Hearst-owned stations hoping to watch the usual holiday fare on DirecTV are in for disappointment since the two are in a retransmission fight.

Hearst stations sent out a press release saying stations such as WAPT in Jackson, Ms., WPBF in West Palm Beach, Florida, KMBC in Kansas City and WTAE in Pittsburgh won’t be seen on DirecTV after an impasse in “protracted negotiations” over a contract that ended at Midnight on December 31.

“Hearst has a long history of successfully concluding agreements with cable companies and other satellite distributors with no disruption of service to viewers,” read a quote attributed to the president and GM of each market affected. “Unfortunately, the DirecTV negotiating team is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable given the significant investments we have made to deliver top tier programming to our local viewers.”


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

“We have not ‘blacked out’ our station,” said the quote. “You may continue to receive our station for free, over the air, and, where available, from your cable or satellite operators.”

The release also asked viewers to call DirecTV and complain about the satellite provider’s “unreasonable demands.”