The purchase of the independent station on Long Island will give CBS a duopoly in the nation’s largest media market.
CBS Television Stations today announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase independent WLNY New York and operate it in a duopoly with flagship WCBS.
Terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition presents a “tremendous opportunity,” said Peter Dunn, president of the stations division.
“Our plans for the station include adding people and resources to fuel a significant expansion of local news programming well beyond the nightly half-hour that currently airs,” he said.
In a note to clients, Wells Fargo securities analyst Marci Ryvicker said the “tuck-in acquisition … makes sense.”
Ryvicker explained that a “duopoly market tends to have higher margins than a single-station market” and “there could be a lot of upside” in producing more news and incremental retransmission consent fees.
Based on Long Island, WLNY is widely distributed by cable, satellite and other pay TV providers in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area.
The station broadcasts on ch. 47, but appears as either ch. 10 or ch. 55 on most channel lineups.
Owned by Michael Pascucci, of North Palm Beach, Fla., and family, WLNY broadcasts a mix of first run and off-net syndicated programming, including Dr. Phil at 7 p.m. and The Ellen DeGenerous Show, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Judy Judy in primetime. It caps its broadcast day with a half hour of local news at 11 p.m.
Once the acquisition of WLNY has been finalized, CBS will own duopolies in 10 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Sacramento and Pittsburgh.
CBS’s 28 stations include 16 with CBS programming, eight CW affiliates, two MNT affiliates and two independents.