While there a a number of reasons for the almost nonexistent station trading marketplace these days, a big factor is the upcoming spectrum auction. Potential sellers don’t want to commit now before finding out what the market will be for their airwaves once the bidding starts. To get around this, however, station sale contracts are being written with “chump insurance,” which provides some protection for a seller if the buyer sells the station in the incentive auction and makes a killing.
The buyer is Marquee Broadcasting, which also owns WMDT, the ABC affilite in Salisbury, Md. The Athens, Ga.-based university bought the station in 2008 as a commercial station, but converted it to noncommercial use three years later. Maquee will be switching it back to commercial use with diginets.