ION Media Networks Completes Acquisition Agreement with CBS Television Distribution to Air "48 Hours"
Popular Newsmagazine Will Combine Original Elements with Updated Information; Veteran Correspondent Erin Moriarty Named New Host
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- ION Media Networks, Inc. (AMEX:ION) today announced a multi-year acquisition deal with CBS Television Distribution to air the highly rated, hour-long television news program, "48 Hours," on ION Television, its flagship television network reaching over 93 million homes. Hosted by Erin Moriarty, one of the veteran CBS News correspondents of "48 Hours," the show will appear weeknights on ION Television beginning in the fourth quarter of 2007.
In its unique approach, "48 Hours" delves into a single subject, examining it from several angles with in-depth coverage and an action-driven style. The Emmy� award-winning newsmagazine blends real-life news events with expert storytelling, shedding new light on true-crime cases and examining issues facing everyday Americans.
Under terms of the agreement, previously aired installments of "48 Hours" will be updated with new graphics and wraps by Ms. Moriarty, who will provide the audience with new findings in ongoing investigations. Ms. Moriarty has been a correspondent for "48 Hours" since June 1990 and has a law degree. She previously had been the consumer correspondent for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News."
"�48 Hours' is quality, contemporary, versatile programming with great appeal for our family-oriented audiences," said Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks. "We are very pleased with this CBS content relationship, as we look to grow the ION Television network in coming years, through programming relationships with quality suppliers."
"Providing an excellent mix of mystery, drama and reality, �48 Hours' is one of television's most successful newsmagazine programs," said Stacey Nagel Galper, SVP of Programming and Strategic Planning for ION Media Networks. "For ION Television, it adds a dose of mystery and suspense to our generally light-hearted and upbeat weekday schedule. We are also very pleased to have a well-respected and leading broadcast journalist, Erin Moriarty, as our host."
This new agreement is part of ION Media Network's ongoing initiative to add new, compelling programming from leading content providers that blends with the network's signature quality content. Last fall, RHI Entertainment and ION Media Networks announced a new partnership, whereby RHI serves as the exclusive television programming supplier on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Since the start of the RHI and ION partnership, which began the weekend of June 29th with the digitally re-mastered, Emmy� award-winning miniseries Lonesome Dove, Saturday night household impressions have experienced a 55 percent increase over season-to-date figures.
Killer Wave, an action-disaster miniseries starring Tom Skerritt, is the first of 12 original productions from RHI to air on ION Television. The four-hour miniseries, which will debut in its entirety on Sunday, August 5th, features Angus Macfayden (Braveheart, Alias, Saw 3), Steven McHattie (A History of Violence, Seinfeld) and Karine Vanasse (Head in the Clouds, Set Me Free).
About ION Media Networks
ION Media Networks, Inc. owns and operates the nation's largest broadcast television station group and ION Television, reaching over 93 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. ION Television currently features popular TV series and movies from the award-winning libraries of Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television, among others. ION Media also has partnered with RHI Entertainment, which owns over 4,000 hours of acclaimed television content, to provide weekend primetime programming consisting of exclusive original programming and quality library titles. Utilizing its digital multicasting capability, the company has launched several new digital TV brands, including qubo, a television and multimedia network for children formed in partnership with several leading media and entertainment companies, and ION Life, a television and multimedia network dedicated to health and wellness for consumers and families. For more information, please visit www.ionmedia.tv.