$217.5 million purchase from Emmis gives it a duopoly.
Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. has completed its purchase of WKCF Orlando, Fla., from Emmis Communications for $217.5 million in cash. The acquisition adds a television duopoly in the Orlando/Daytona/Melbourne television market, the nation’s 19th largest, where Hearst-Argyle also owns WESH, the market’s NBC affiliate. WKCF, formerly a WB affiliate, becomes a CW affiliate next month. It will be operated from the WESH facility.
The transaction was funded with cash on hand and an advance under the company’s unused $250 million credit facility.
With the WKCF acquisition, Hearst-Argyle now has duopolies in five of its seven largest markets: Boston; Sacramento, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; Orlando and Baltimore, where the company has a radio/television combination.
“We are pleased to conclude our acquisition of WKCF and we welcome the staff of WKCF to the Hearst-Argyle family of stations,” said David Barrett, Hearst-Argyle president and CEO. “The combination of WESH with WKCF will enhance the local television service of each station and enable us to better serve the interests and needs of our audiences, advertisers and the entire Orlando community. WKCF will benefit from WESH’s extensive newsgathering resources and, together, our stations will provide viewers of all ages with the very best in entertainment, news and information programming, and community service.
“As our industry moves forward into the new era of digital television, video multicasting and Web-based video services, the duopoly at WESH and WKCF will be extraordinarily well positioned to compete in one of America’s most dynamic markets. The formation of this powerful TV duopoly is an important strategic step for our company,” Barrett added.