1/14/2018 Phildelphia Inquirer
PHL17, TV home to the Mummers, is part of a mega deal by the conservative Sinclair group.
By Bob Fernandez STAFF WRITER
It’s the Rocky Balboa of Philly television stations. PHL17, based in a fenced-in, former A&P supermarket beside train tracks in West Philadelphia, punches above its weight against network biggies 6ABC, NBC10, Fox29, and CBS3 with a mix of locally produced morning news, daytime talk shows, and syndicated reruns in the early evening.
“Comfort food,” says general manager Vince Giannini of PHL17 offerings, which include The Gold-bergs and The Big Bang Theory.
Giannini recently struck a deal for the Philadelphia TV rights to 25 Union soccer games a year, an attempt to stay relevant to sports fans after Com-cast took the Phillies games.
And for more than two decades, “the great entertainer” — as the station branded itself in the past — has aired the Mummers Parade: an extravaganza of live footage, Facebook live streams, and video clips produced by the 50-person PHL17 staff, reaching about 200,000 Philadelphia-area homes every 15 minutes on Jan. 1.
“You do the most with what you can,” Giannini said.
But today PHL17 is at a crossroads. Parent company Tribune Media has reached a $6.6 billion deal, including debt, to sell itself to the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group, potentially creating an
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