TV stations nationwide owned by McLean, Va.-based Tegna, including Austin’s KVUE, are offering early retirement packages to selected employees, the company confirmed Friday.
The buyouts are being offered to workers ages 55 and up with at least 15 years of service, according to published reports.
“In order to accelerate change and reinvest resources in new job positions, KVUE is offering eligible employees a voluntary retirement plan,” KVUE said in a written statement. “KVUE is a leader in the Austin community and this reinvestment will position us for even greater success as we continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of our consumers and advertisers.”
Aside from Austin, Tegna operates stations in a number of other Texas cities, including Abilene, Beaumont, College Station, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Tyler and Waco.
A last-minute deal has kept Austin ABC affiliate KVUE from going dark on the AT&T U-verse and DirecTV lineups.
Terms of the multi-year agreement, which covers 46 stations nationwide owned by McLean, Va.-based Tegna Inc., were not disclosed.
In a message to viewers last week, KVUE indicated retransmission fees were the sticking point. Federal law requires cable and satellite providers to compensate the local broadcasters whose signals they carry. Typically, that works out to a monthly per-subscriber fee.
Aside from Austin, other Texas cities where Tegna owns TV stations include Abilene, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, San Angelo, San Antonio, Tyler and Waco.
One satellite TV dispute has been resolved, but another still lingers.
Media General, the company that operates three Austin TV stations, says it has reached a new agreement with DirecTV that means NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO will remain a part of its channel lineup.
Dish Network, meanwhile, has yet to strike a new deal with Tegna, owner of Austin ABC affiliate KVUE.
An existing agreement that expired Sept. 30 was initially extended 24 hours, but the two sides said Thursday that they would up that to an eight-day extension because Hurricane Joaquin is approaching the East Coast, where Tegna owns several TV stations.
Cable and satellite TV providers are required by federal law to compensate broadcasters for carrying their signals. Those fees have been the sticking point in both the DirecTV and Dish Network negotiations, based upon public statements made by those involved.
Disputes between broadcasters and satellite TV providers could knock as many as four Austin TV stations off some channel lineups this week.
DirecTV has yet to reach a new agreement to carry dozens of stations nationwide operated by Media General, including Austin NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO.
The current deal expires at 11 p.m. Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Dish Network is in a similar standoff with Tegna, owner of Austin ABC affiliate KVUE.
The deadline for them to work things out is 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The sticking point in both the DirecTV and Dish Network negotiations is money, based upon public statements made by those involved. Cable and satellite TV providers are required by federal law to compensate broadcasters for carrying their signals.
Just last month, a similar dustup knocked Austin CBS affiliate KEYE and its Telemundo subchannel off the Dish Network lineup for about 24 hours.