Nexstar CEO Perry Sook sacrificed 19 stations to bring his proposed $4.1 billion merger in line with FCC and DOJ ownership limits. There is now no reason why regulators should stand in the way of the deal, including the transfer of Tribune’s top four duopoly in Indianapolis. Also, here’s a quick review of the winners and losers in Nexstar’s spinoff auction.
Apollo Global is cobbling together a major new station group by melding Cox, Northwest and spinoffs from the Nexstar-Tribune merger. Not much is known about the four-sided deal at this point, but it’s got everybody talking. Most surprising to me: Northwest and its retrans contracts may be the key to the whole thing.
Nexstar Media and TDS Telecom said they reached a new retransmission consent agreement, ending a blackout that has lasted since the beginning of the year. TDS said the comprehensive agreement will mean the restoration of the signals of Nexstar stations to more than 50,000 TDS consumers in eight states.
In a filing with the FCC, the station group says it will ask the agency for a waiver of the rule that prohibits common ownership of two top four stations in a market. Nexstar also acknowledges that it will have to exit markets to comply with the commission’s 39% ownership cap. As things now stand, the merger would swell Nexstar’s coverage to 47.1%.
Keeping a station on the air during a disaster means crafting and rehearsing a plan that’s often based on previous experiences. As Nexstar’s ABC affiliate in Panama City, Fla., learned from October’s Hurricane Michael, sometimes the unforeseen still happens. After the WMBB building lost power, the news team set up in the station’s parking lot for newscasts.
According to most pure-play station groups, this recent sluggishness by auto dealers has been replicated in their automotive advertising sales, which typically account for around a quarter of their spot revenue. However, some group execs see things improving as the year progresses.
Nexstar, Sinclair, Tribune, Tegna launch TV Interface Practices (TIP), a standards-based project to bring streamlined business interfaces to local TV. They are inviting broadcasters, advertisers and others to join to improve competitiveness with other media.