Kstw In Middle In Network Battles

DALLAS - The WB Television Network has filed suit against Gaylord Broadcasting Co., owner of KSTW-TV (Channel 11) in Seattle-Tacoma, asking that Gaylord be compelled to affiliate its Seattle, Dallas and Houston stations with the fledgling Warner Bros. network.

The breach of contract suit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, also accuses Gaylord of trying to affiliate its station in Dallas with CBS.

In Seattle, KSTW has been in the center of swirling scenarios of station swaps published in trade journals involving CBS, Group W Television, Fox and WB.

KTVT in Dallas has been the prime candidate to become the local CBS affiliate after Dallas' KDFW-TV and seven other CBS affiliates announced they would switch to the Fox network, triggering the current network-affiliation game of musical chairs.

Both the Nashville, Tenn.-based Gaylord and WB Television Network refused to comment.

Gaylord and three of its television stations, last month filed a lawsuit in Fort Worth to void the affiliation agreements with the WB network.

The Gaylord suit said the company is no longer obligated to Warner Bros. because delays in the scheduled launch of its proposed WB network "create very serious programming, sales, and other problems for us."

Time Warner delayed plans to offer four hours of prime-time programming this fall.