Nexstar Wants To Keep Trib’s Top 4 Duop In Indy

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%.  

Nexstar Media will attempt to hang on to Tribune’s CBS-Fox duopoly in Indianapolis in its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune, according to the merger’s FCC transfer application, which was put on public notice today.

Nexstar said that it will show the FCC that the duopoly of two top four stations — WXIN (Fox) and WTTV (CBS) — would “serve the public interest.”

And if it is allowed to own the two stations, it said, it will divest the two other stations it already has there, CW affiliate WISH and MNT affiliate WNDY.

Tribune put together the top 4 duopoly by the back door in 2014 when, as part of a broader agreement with CBS, it acquired the CBS affiliation for WTTV, then a CW affiliate.

WISH, which had been the CBS outlet, then became the new home of the CW. At the time, WISH was owned by LIN Media.

FCC rules prohibit common ownership of two top 4 stations in a market, but the agency has said it would consider exceptions or waivers on a case-by-case basis.


Nexstar will have to do more than just convince the FCC it deserves an exception or waiver of the rule. The Justice Department is closely scrutinizing duopolies and could nix the Indianapolis combo on antitrust grounds even if the FCC OKs it.

According to the application, the merger involves 13 markets with overlapping Nexstar and Tribune stations. Two would create permissible duopolies of one top four station and one non-top four station.

Eleven would create impermissible top four combos. In 10 of the 11, the filing says, Nexstar will divest one of the stations to comply with the top four prohibition.  But in one — Indianapolis — it will take a stab at the case-by-case waiver.

Earlier this week, in a separate filing, Nexstar revealed plans for three markets, saying it would sell WTKR Norfolk, Va.; WGNT Portsmouth, Va.; and WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

The application also acknowledges that the merger would swell Nexstar’s TV household coverage to 47.1% — way over the 39% national ownership cap.

To get below the cap, Nexstar said that it would sell all of its stations in certain markets, but did not say which ones. It said it would file its divestiture plans for compliance as soon as they are finalized.

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tvn-member-3847048 says:

February 1, 2019 at 4:45 pm

Possible Perry Sook-Nexstar Media Group old most all time favorite friend ‘The Retransmission Consent Man’ Duane Lammers likely want to buy acquire various TV stations from Nexstar and Tribune as part of the overall Nexstar-Tribune merger deal with Lammers using a portion of the retrans fees from various MVPDs for carriage of various TV stations controlled by broadcasters/broadcasting groups using Lammers firm Max Retrans to help Granite Broadcasting/Peter Markham-Silver Point Capital launching down payments to pursue by possibly competing with Phillip Lombardo-Citadel Communications and/or teaming up with Lombardo-Citadel to help Lombardo-Citadel repurchase reacquire KCAU and WOI from Nexstar which Lombardo-Citadel originally sold to with WHBF in 2014 plus gaining WOI duopoly partner KCWI along with EW Scripps possibly also wanting to pursue those TV stations as well; Bob Prather-Heartland Media for KXMB-KXMC-KXMD-KXMA, KSVI/KHMT; Sagamore Hill for WLAX-WEUX; EW Scripps, Hearst, and TEGNA for WATN/WLMT from Nexstar; TEGNA and NBC for KRON with NBC buying KRON license to move KNTV programming assets to KRON license and to pair partner with KSTS and spin off KNTV license to Jeff Chang Media Group; TEGNA and Meredith for KASW with TEGNA to pair partner with KPNZ-KNAZ while Meredith wanting KASW to pair partner with KPHO and spin off KTVK to EW Scripps with EW Scripps buying KTVK to move the ABC network affiliation programming from KNXV to KTVK so Meredith can have both KPHO and KASW be together and EW Scripps can have KTVK and KNXV both be together; Hearst for WNEP; TEGNA for WISH/WNDY, WZDX/WAMY/WHDF from Nexstar & KRCW, KDAF, KIAH, WDCW from Tribune; Meredith for KELO-KPLO-KDLO-KCLO; Ed Ansin-Sunbeam Television, Warren Buffett-Berkshire Hathaway Media, and FOX for WSFL from Tribune; Graham for WPIX, KTLA, WGN, WTVR, WTKT/WGNT from Tribune; Lammers possibly pursuing KSNW-KSNC-KSNG-KSNK-KSNL LD, KSNT/KTMJ CD/KTKA, KSNF/KODE, KOLR/KOLZ/KRBK, KNWA/KFTA, KARK/KARZ/KLRT/KSAN, KTAL/KMSS/KSHV, KARD/KTVE, WJKT, WKRN, WATE, WJHL, WHBF/KLJB/KGCW, WQRF/WTVO, WMBD/WYZZ(Cunningham/Sinclair), WCIA/WCIX, WTWO/WAWV, WEHT/WTVW, WOWK from Nexstar & WDAF, KTVI/KPLR from Tribune and various other Nexstar and Tribune TV stations spinoffs from the overall Nexstar-Tribune merger deal on his own himself that are close to Lammers current present day home town of O’Fallon, Missouri within the Saint Louis, Missouri suburbs for Granite-Silver Point Capital.————

Here are the broadcasters and broadcasting groups favor acquiring which TV stations from Tribune if the Nexstar-Tribune merger deal falls apart like the Sinclair-Tribune merger deal:

Berkshire Hathaway Media or Sunbeam Television:




WTTV-WTTK/WXIN(with CBS giving the affiliation back to WISH and CW giving the affiliation back to WTTV-WTTK)


[email protected] says:

February 1, 2019 at 10:43 pm

I think Nexstar should keep the combo they have in Indy with Wish TV & WNDY and try to get CBS back on Wish TV. I think the only way WTTV could be a stand-alone TV station would be if CBS were to buy it and become an O&O I don’t think WTTV can be on its own since it has been at the hip of WXIN. When Tribune bought WTTV in 2002 from Sinclair when it was a WB station to from Fox59/CBS4 combo. I don’t know if DOJ will grant Nexstar 2 Top 4 TV stations in 1 market but will see if that does happen or not.

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