Those looking for Justice’s decision on whether it has any antitrust issues with Tegna’s purchase of Nexstar spin-off stations will have to wait a little longer. That is because for the sixth business day in a row the Federal Trade Commission has issued no early termination notices on any deal, an unusual hiatus for such announcements.
The Nexstar CEO says while the FCC’s ownership coverage cap is effectively at 78% now, broadcasters would like the Pai FCC to lock it in at that level so that some future FCC with a Democratic majority cannot easily reset it at 39% by once again repealing the UHF discount.
The Justice Department is OK with Nexstar’s spin-offs of eight TV stations to Scripps, part of its deal to acquire Tribune. Scripps is buying eight stations in seven markets for $580 million. The sale keeps Nexstar on the right side of FCC ownership limits.
Spectrum Co. and Pearl TV are expected to jointly announce ATSC 3.0 launches involving some 150 stations in 30 markets during next week’s gathering in Las Vegas. Their goal is to build a national footprint that will let broadcasters better compete with wireless companies and OTT providers while spurring the development of 3.0-ready TV sets and other consumer devices.
A couple weeks before the FCC deadline for petitions to deny Nexstar’s $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune, the agency received a different sort of download on the broadcaster. HolstonConnect, a subsidiary of rural electric cooperative Holston Electric of Tennessee, has filed an FCC complaint against Nexstar, claiming it has failed to negotiate retrans consent rights in good faith.
The TV industry has an unlikely new star: Leon Black. The billionaire investor is poised to become one of the biggest players in local television thanks to a dealmaking spree. His private equity firm, Apollo Global Management, is working on a trifecta of transactions that could give it control of more than 40 stations from Atlanta to Seattle. First off, Apollo is in talks to buy a group of local television stations from Nexstar Media Group Inc. for more than $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The deal could be announced in the next week, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the discussions aren’t public.
Austin Kellerman, news director at Nexstar NBC affiliate KARK Little Rock, Ark., is climbing the Nexstar ladder to join the corporate team as the station group’s director of digital content based in Irving, Texas.
The black-tie event honoring Nexstar Media Group’s Perry A. Sook raises funds for broadcasters in need and takes place March 6 in New York, with entertainment by Grammy-winning duo Sugarland.
American Cable Association President Matt Polka has taken issue with Nexstar’s online effort to sell the importance of its signals to local government and the impact of their absence from Antietam Broadband, with which it is currently at a retrans impasse.