The spinoffs reflect Nexstar’s regulatory compliance plan to secure approvals for its Tribune Media deal. Tegna is buying 11 stations in eight markets and Scripps gets eight stations in seven markets.
The boost to $281 million was attributed to political advertising revenue of $82 million plus $77.9 million in retrans money. Local Media profit was $98.7 million, compared to $45.4 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Justice Department has signed off on the sale of 15 TV stations from Evening Post Industries’ (EPI) Cordillera Communications to Scripps for $521 million. That came in an early termination notice Tuesday released by the Federal Trade Commission, which divvies up merger reviews. The notice means that the antitrust review has been ended early with no issues that would cause the deal to be blocked or conditioned.
Tegna, Hearst and EW Scripps are all planning on submitting final offers for Cox Media Group’s 14 TV stations at the end of January, according to people familiar with the matter. Final bids are due by Jan. 30, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. A deal could fetch more than $2 billion, and possibly close to $3 billion, the people said.
The group reups WGBA Green Bay, Wis.; WTMJ Milwaukee; KJRH Tulsa, Okla.; WPTV West Palm Beach, Fla.; and KSHB Kansas City, Mo.
The spinoffs from the Gray-Raycom merger brings Scripps’ holdings to 36 TV stations in 26 markets and gives Scripps its first stations in Texas and expands its Florida presence.
All of E.W. Scripps stations will use Comscore’s television currency and will also use Comscore’s advanced automotive and political demographic currencies to sell the value and relevance, rather than just the size, of its audiences.
With the closing of the $8 million sale of eight stations to Lotus Communications, Scripps has gotten out of the radio station business. Selling all its stations brought in $83.5 million.
The new multiplatform network, to debut in May 2019, has secured over-the-air distribution agreements with major local TV station group owners including Tribune, Scripps and Univision, giving Court TV coverage of more than 50% of U.S. television households at launch. Vinnie Politan will be the network’s lead anchor.