From Tom Taylor's NOW Newsletter: Scripps buys “Bounce,” “Grit, “Escape,” and “Laff” – four niche broadcast TV nets.


For one thing, this $302 million purchase makes Cincinnati-based Scripps a competitor with Urban One’s “TV One.” They’re both targeted at African-Americans, though TV One is a cable channel and “Bounce” is used by broadcasters – mostly on digital multicasts. Seller of these specialty services is Katz Broadcasting, founded in 2014 by Jonathan Katz. (So it’s not part of iHeart’s Katz rep business.) “Grit” is targeted to men and runs Westerns and action films. “Escape” is aimed at women, airing true-crime stories and mystery movies. “Laff” is just what you think – former network sit-coms and comedy films. Wells Fargo analyst Mari Ryvicker says with this deal, “Scripps enters into the broadcast network business.” It’s already using some of the networks on its own TV stations, and there are existing deals with stations owned by Cox, Raycom, Nexstar and ABC and others. Scripps has bought “outside the box” before. Two years ago it paid $50 million-plus for podcast platform Midroll Media.