Young Broadcasting, which is operating a CBS-MNT duopoly in Lansing, Mich., will soon make it a triopoly. It has a deal to take over the operation of WLAJ just as soon as Shield Media completes its purchase of the ABC affiliate from Sinclair for $14.4 million. Young and Shield worked together to create a duopoly for Young earlier his year in Albany, N.Y.
Young Piecing Together Triopoly In Lansing
Young Broadcasting is setting up triopoly for itself in Lansing, Mich. (DMA 116), with the help of partner Shield Media.
Shield is buying ABC affiliate WLAJ in Lansing from Sinclair Broadcast Group, but, through joint sales and sharing agreements, will turn over its operation to Young, which already owns CBS affiliate WLNS in the market and manages MNT affiliate WHTV through a joint sales agreement with owner Venture Technologies.
Shield, owned by longtime broadcaster Sheldon Galloway, is paying $14.4 million for WLAJ, according to an FCC filing seeking approval of the deal.
Young and Shield struck the same kind of arrangement in Albany, N.Y., earlier this year. Shield bought Fox affiliate WXXA there, but Young is running it under contracts in tandem with its own ABC affiliate, WTEN.
Such arrangement are increasingly common in broadcasting as a way to circumvent FCC rules prohibiting one company from owning Big Four network affiliates in small markets.