The FCC’s approval completes the regulatory review of the merger, valued at about $270 million. The Justice Department last week approved the transaction on condition that the combined company would sell WEVV Evansville, Ind., because otherwise, its market share in that city would increase from about 42% to 60%. As part of the approval, the commission says Nexstar can continue to operate KYLE Bryan, Texas, as a satellite of KWKT Waco, Texas.
The former CEO of Communications Corp. of America will focus on buying stations in small markets. He’s expected to remain as chairman of the Fox affiliates board.
The Communications Corp. of America station group is the latest to hang out the For Sale sign, with Houlihan Lokey looking for buyers for the 25 properties in 10 markets.
CEO Jack Perry says in addition to developing the platform that stations will be able to use to deliver their programming via broadband to interconnected TV sets, tablets and smart phones in their markets, his company is also lining up national programming to supplement whatever programming the participating stations choose to put on the platform. Preliminary testing on stations is slotted for next month, with the goal of a commercial rollout by January’s CES.
Although I’ve been critical of Fox’s tactics, I agree fundamentally with what it is trying to achieve. If the Big Four are going to survive and prosper, they are going to have to keep pushing up the revenue they derive from retrans, directly through O&Os and indirectly through their affiliates. But Fox needs to recognize that every affiliate is different. If Fox is determined to negotiate with each station group individually, it should treat them as individuals, tailoring their demands to reflect each group financial situation. Insisting that each coughs up the same fee as if every business were the same makes no sense.