In addition to WTAJ, the $56 million deal also includes WLYH Lebanon, Pa., but the UPN/CW affiliate is currently being operated as a duopoly by Clear Channel under a long-term agreement.
The acquisitive Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced this afternoon that is buying WTAJ, the CBS affiliate serving Johnstown-Altoona, Pa., for $56 million from Television Station Group Holdings.
As part of the deal, Nexstar is also acquiring the license and certain assets and contracts of WLYH, the Television Station Group’s UPN affiliate in Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Pa. The station, which will become a CW affiliate this fall, is operated as a duopoly by Clear Channel under a “grandfathered” time brokerage agreement that extends until 2015. Clear Channel also owns WHP, the CBS affiliate in the market.
“The acquisition of WTAJ reflects our focus on expanding Nexstar’s portfolio with stations that have leading audience and revenue shares and quality, highly rated local news programming,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â said Nexstar President and CEO Perry Sook. “The acquisition is also consistent with our clustering strategy whereby we seek to operate multiple stations in concentrated geographic regions.
“Under Nexstar’s stewardship WTAJ will realize additional retransmission revenues as well as synergistic operating improvements, and on a pro-forma basis the acquisition is immediately accretive to the company,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Sook said.
Nexstar said it intends to finance the acquisition through borrowings under its senior credit facility. The transaction, which is subject to FCC approval, will not materially impact the company’s leverage ratios and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Including pending acquisitions, the publicly traded Nexstar Broadcasting Group currently owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 49 television stations in 29 markets in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and New York. Nexstar’s television station group includes affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and UPN, and reaches approximately 8% of all U.S. television households.