The full-power MNT affiliate in Derry, N.H. that Diane Sutter bought for $28 million in 2004 is going to former senatorial candidate Bill Binnie's Carlisle One Media, which has also bought three New Hampshire LPTVs in recent months.
Ex-Senate Candidate Buying WZMY Boston
Carlisle One Media, headed by former U.S. Senate candidate Bill Binnie, is buying Diane Sutter’s WZMY Derry, N.H., with full coverage of the Boston market (DMA 7), according to press releases by Carlisle and broker Dick Foreman. Terms were not disclosed.
Binnie, who made a small fortune in the plastics industry, ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Senate nomination in 2010. That primary and the Senate seat were ultimately won by Kelly Ayotte.
WZMY carries Fox’s My Network Television and NBC’s Universal Sports on a subchannel.
“Fox and NBC Sports are great partners and we are looking forward to working with them,” Binnie said in a prepared statement. “In addition, we are excited to be the exclusive provider of Universal Sports in the greater Boston market. We are committed to working hard to fully realize the unique potential of this station in the coming years.”
In its release, Carlisle said it intends to change the call letters to WBIN and announce new programming, some locally produced, this summer. It expects to close on the purchase in May.
Through other companies, Binnie has bought low-power stations in New Hampshire in recent months, including WVBK-CA Manchester and WVBQ-LP Charlestown (from Vision 3 Broadcasting for $500,000) and WYCN-LP Nashua (from Center Broadcasting Corp. of New Hampshire for $10,000 and up to $50,000 in debts related to the station).
A story last month on the website of the Manchester Union-Leader speculated that Binnie’s interest in broadcasting may be driven by Binnie’s desire to settle old political scores and take on Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WMUR Manchester, the only other full-power station in the state.
As head of Shooting Star Broadcasting, Diane Sutter, a veteran station manager, acquired WZMY (then WNDS) in 2004 convinced that she could carve out a place in the Boston market as a standalone, independent station with a schedule laden with local programming. The strategy failed, even after she picked up the market’s MNT affiliation in 2006.
Suter and her backers paid $28 million for the station, according to FCC records.