OTA Broadcasting had sold the spectrum of the Providence, R.I., CW affiliate in the FCC’s incentive auction.
Nexstar Media Group on Monday agreed to acquire the non-spectrum operating assets of CW affiliate WLWC Providence, R.I. (DMA 52) for $4.1 million from OTA Broadcasting.
Nexstar said the transaction will be highly accretive to its operating results immediately upon closing, which is expected by early fourth quarter of 2017. Nexstar intends to finance the station acquisition with cash from operations.
OTA sold the WLWC spectrum in the FCC’s incentive auction and given that Nexstar’s agreement with OTA pertains to the purchase of the station’s remaining operating assets, the proposed transaction is not subject to FCC approval. The CW affiliation complements the existing programming and services delivered to viewers and advertisers in Providence by stations and digital platforms owned by Nexstar, or with whom Nexstar has a local service agreement, including WPRI (CBS), WNAC (Fox), MyNetworkTV and WPRI.com.
Commenting on the agreement, Tim Busch, president of Nexstar Broadcasting, said: “The WLWC-TV transaction reflects the ongoing execution of Nexstar’s successful long-term growth strategy to opportunistically expand our broadcast and digital platform through highly accretive acquisitions. The addition of the assets from WLWC-TV will allow Nexstar to generate incremental advertising and net retransmission consent revenue growth without increasing our total U.S. television household reach. The acquisition is leverage-neutral on a pro-forma basis, and the purchase price represents a very low multiple of the pro forma contribution to Nexstar’s operating results, given the anticipated operating synergies and elevated advertising and distribution revenues.
“Importantly, as our organization grows, we continue to simultaneously elevate our support of the evolving needs and interests of our local viewers, hometown businesses and community organizations that we proudly serve each day. We intend to continue WLWC-TV’s legacy of local programming and community orientation and look forward to delivering more exceptional primetime, syndicated, sports and local news programming to Providence viewers later this year.”
William Tolpegin, CEO of OTA Broadcasting said: “We want to thank the employees of WLWC for their fantastic work at OTA, and we are thrilled they will be re-joining the Nexstar team. As an industry leader, Nexstar has consistently delivered strong local programming to the local communities it serves across the United States and we are confident that WLWC will continue to offer viewers in Providence great programming under Nexstar’s management.”