After selling the Pennsylvania station’s for $84 million in the incentive auction, NRJ is selling the TV license with must-carry rights, along with a channel sharing contract with the local Nexstar ABC affiliate, to Jeff Winemiller for $2.5 million.
Hoping to buy low and sell high in the FCC incentive auction, NRJ TV, OTA Broadcasting and Locus Point have bought 39 stations over the past two years, according to SNL Kagan.
The spectrum speculator is buying KTNC San Francisco and KUBE (formerly KAZH) Houston from Titan Broadcast Management. Titan will continue to operate the stations.
The spectrum speculator has bought six other stations with the intention of selling the spectrum to wireless carriers through the FCC’s planned “incentive auction.”
As previously reported, NRJ TV is purchasing KSCI Los Angeles using a credit bid it obtained by buying up the debt of the bankrupt station, which airs a variety of programming in Chinese, Korean and Tagalog. The amount was revealed Friday in an FCC filing seeking approval of the deal, which also includes KIKU Honolulu and KAUN-LP Los Angeles. The seller is International Media Group, which went into Chapter 11 in January.
The spectrum speculator adds to its growing portfolio of underperforming independent stations by buying the Los Angeles station, which airs programming in Chinese, Korean and Tagalog. NRJ TV is collecting stations, hoping to eventually sell their spectrum through the FCC’s planned incentive auction.
NRJ, a group that is buying underperforming stations with an eye on cashing in on the FCC’s proposed incentive auction, outbid two others in a Nov. 15 auction for WSAH, a bankrupt independent licensed to Bridgeport, Conn., on the fringe of the New York market. But its high bid of $22.8 million may not be enough. Arthur Liu, the original owner of the station, is challenging the sale process in bankruptcy court.
The aggregator of third-rate TV stations has a deal for its third station: WTVE, licensed to Reading in the Philadelphia DMA. NRJ earlier this year bought two other stations — WMFP Boston and KCNS San Francisco — for $20 million and was a failed bidder for a station in Los Angeles. Seller Richard French bought WTVE three years ago for $13.5 milion.
The likelihood of federal spectrum auctions is having a two-pronged effect: leading some buyers to look for low-priced stations to buy in the hopes of cashing out from the auction proceeds; and causing some struggling smaller-market and public stations that could use money now to put themselves on the block.
An FCC filing reveals that the company buying the San Francisco and Boston stations, NJR TV, is owned equally by Ted Bartley and family; Titan Broadcast Management, headed by Bert Ellis and Dan Sullivan; and Larry Patrick and his wife, Susan.