Sinclair To Buy 8 New Age Stations for $90M

The group has agreed to buy eight stations — one low power and seven full power — located in Pennsylvania and Florida. "Through each acquisition we continue to capture operating efficiencies and scale, as well as increase our cash flow for ongoing opportunities," says Sinclair CEO David Smith.

Sinclair Broadcast Group continues to grow.

The group said Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement to purchase eight television stations — one low power and seven full power — owned by New Age Media for $90 million. The stations are located in three markets and reach .8% of the U.S. TV households.

The stations in DMA 54, Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, Penn., include:

• WOLF (Fox)

• WQMY (MyTV)

• WSWB (CW)

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The stations in DMA 106, Tallahassee, Fla., include:

• WTLH (Fox)

• WTLF (CW)

And the stations in DMA 163, Gainesville, Fla., include:

• WGFL (CBS)

• WNBW (NBC)

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• WMYG-LP (MyTV)

Completion of the transaction is subject to FCC approval.

In order to comply with FCC TV ownership rules, Sinclair will sell the license and related assets of WSWB, WTLH and WNBW to Cunningham Broadcasting Corp. and WTLF to Deerfield Media. New Age does not own the license assets of WSWB, WNBW and WTLH, but for many years, has provided services to these stations pursuant to existing shared services and joint sales agreements.

Sinclair will continue to provide sales and other non-programming support services to each of these stations, in addition to WTLH, pursuant to customary shared services and joint sales agreements.

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David Smith, CEO of Sinclair, said he’s excited to add the stations to the group’s portfolio.

“Through each acquisition we continue to capture operating efficiencies and scale, as well as increase our cash flow for ongoing opportunities,” he said in a statement.


Comments (22)

Leave a Reply

Shenee Howard says:

September 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm

When is the FCC going to act? This is crazy.

    Keith ONeal says:

    September 25, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Don’t forget, all transactions involving buying/selling of TV/Radio Stations have to go through the FCC for approval/disapproval. Also, people and businesses can make comments to the FCC as well.

Shana Marshall says:

September 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm

That Sinclair smell, ah, the vapors of an acquisition in the morning. Best of luck to engineers and production staff.

Debra winans says:

September 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Not that I think it will happen, but Sinclair better hope that congress doesnt do any form of campaign finance reform. It’s not a coincidence that all do these stations are in huge swing states.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    September 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Considering the Supreme Court ruling, it would not matter what Congress did as it would infringe on 1st amendment rights.

    Debra winans says:

    September 25, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Of course it would

    Wagner Pereira says:

    September 26, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Better re-read the Supreme Court ruling.

    Debra winans says:

    September 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Why? Was I disagreeing with you?

Keith ONeal says:

September 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Am I missing something here? The article says that Sinclair is buying 8 Stations, but I only counted 7 Stations on the list in the article. What Station is missing here?

    Trudy Handel says:

    September 26, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I’m not sure why they listed WMYG-LP instead of WGFL, the full-power station, but I definitely count 8.

    Mark Gregory says:

    September 26, 2013 at 8:45 am

    3 in Pennsylvania, 5 in Florida … so I see 8.

    Keith ONeal says:

    September 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Trip, are you the one that does the Rabbit Ears .info website? That website is fantastic! It always has plenty of useful information on it.

    Trudy Handel says:

    September 27, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Yes, that’s me. I’m the nutcase that maintains it. =)

Trudy Rubin says:

September 26, 2013 at 9:40 am

It might be Sinclair last acquisition for now, if the FCC changes the UHF discount rule today. I would just like to pick up One of their stations OTA. I have a shot at WNYO, if they build on their CP (unlikely with the upcoming spectrum auction, and repacking). It will be interesting to see if Sinclair continues to grow after the changes in the UHF discount.

Maria Black says:

September 26, 2013 at 11:04 am

Hmm, what about the other 7 stations New Age “owns or operates”? WBIL, WBVJ, WYME, WDSI, WFLI and WPXT? The last one is W24DB or some such thing. WBIL and WBVJ are in the Tallahassee market, and are on the WTLH website. Just another pair of stations controlled through JSAs but still held by New Age or their MPS Media holder, but not listed in this so we don’t see the true depth of the purchase. Well played, Sinclair. Well played.

    Trudy Handel says:

    September 26, 2013 at 11:25 am

    WPXT and WPME were sold some time ago to a different company. WDSI and WFLI are seemingly not included in the sale, given that no FCC documents have been filed on those.

    WBFL and WBVJ simulcast WTLH, and serve as translators. W24DB is a translator for WOLF. WYME and WMYG are carried on subchannels of WNBW and WGFL, respectively.

    Maria Black says:

    September 26, 2013 at 11:55 am

    So WDSI, WFLI and WPXT (Ironwood Communications) are not included. New Age operates/owns those. Then, we have the 8 in the sale. So that is 11. According to New Age, they manage or own 15. That leaves the simulcasts and translators as not technically included in the sale, but for control purposes, included as they are part of the sold stations. That means an 8 station sale effectively becomes 12 without counting towards their holdings or those of their holding companies.

Kristjan Magnusson says:

September 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm

SBG will continue to add stations (and spectrum) to the portfolio until they are told they can’t. Adding additional stations in key battleground states is a brilliant play. You may not like Sinclair, but you can’t fault their thinking.

Rachel Martin says:

September 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Don’t forget about retrans leverage…

Keith ONeal says:

September 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I live in the Orlando market (DMA 18) and the Gainesville market (DMA 163) borders us to the northwest. With SBG buying some Gainesville stations, I worry that they may try to buy an Orlando station or two. The NBC and CW stations here are owned by Hearst; the CBS station is owned by Washington Post/Newsweek; the ABC station and an Independent are owned by Cox Communications ~ those are the Affiliates. The FOX and My Network TV stations are FOX O&Os; and the ION Television station is an ION Media O&O.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    September 26, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Amazing that you would worry about something like that instead of your basic math skills.

Lance Vitanza says:

September 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

The “UHF” discount should be done away with, but also, limitations on station ownership as % of TVHH’s should also be done away with. Limiting companies in terms of markets/HH’s is just a form of government control on growth of business, and not in the public interest. There is such diverse deliveries of information, that the idea of preventing a “monopoly” on news/information by single company is far too outdated. More power to Sinclair and other “Super Groups”…the economic advantage means better local television for all.


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