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Prather Buys 5 TVs From Nexstar-Media Gen.

With backing from an Atlanta private equity firm, former Gray exec Bob Prather agrees to pay $115 million for five small-market network affils: Nexstar’s WFFT Ft. Wayne, Ind. (Fox, DMA 111) and KQTV St. Joseph, Mo. (ABC, DMA 201), and Media General’s KIMT Rochester, Minn.; (CBS, DMA 153), WTHI Terra Haute, Ind. (CBS, DMA 155); and WLFI Lafayette, Ind. (CBS, DMA 187).

DMA 109

Ft. Wayne Fox Affiliation Returns To WFFT

The Nexstar independent station — and the market’s former Fox affil — is back as the market’s Fox home on March 1. The move comes following a settlement of an antitrust lawsuit between Nexstar and Granite Broadcasting, owner of NBC affil WISE, which has been carrying Fox on a subchannel since 2011.

DMA 109

WFFT Ft. Wayne Names Ball As News Chief

Nexstar’s independent in Fort Wayne, Ind., has hired Dan Ball as news director/anchor to replace Jim Blue.


Stations, Buyers Adjust To A Reset Ft. Wayne

The fallout from the year-ago upheaval in affiliations in the 109th TV market depends on whom you talk to. NBC affil WISE is thrilled with the increase in sports programming it’s gotten from adding Fox on a subchannel, while WFFT, now an independent, says its Rentrak numbers are strong and tracking up. But Nielsen numbers and local ad buyers paint a somewhat different story.

DMA 107

WFFT Ft. Wayne Unveils Post-Fox Lineup

WFFT, which will go independent on Aug. 1 after failing to renew its Fox affiliation, will replace the Fox primetime programming with Extra!, The Insider and, beginning this fall, back-to-back airings of The Big Bang Theory. It’s also adding a half hour of late news and promising full HD news by October.