DMA 69, 70

Price On ABC’s Toledo And Flint TVs: $30M

SJL Holdings is paying $30 million for two ABC small-market stations — $16.8 million for WTVG Toledo and $13.2 million of WJRT Flint, according to an FCC filing. ABC had announced the deal to sell the O&Os earlier this month without divulging the price.

SJL Holdings is paying ABC a combined $30 million for WJRT Flint, Mich. (DMA 69), and WTVG Toledo (DMA 70), Ohio, according to an FCC filing seeking approval of the stock transfer deal.

Upon closing, ABC will get $16.8 million for WTVG and $13.2 million for WJRT.

ABC had announced the sale earlier this month as part of a strategy to focus on large market stations.

SJL is headed by George Lilly and his son, Brian. It also runs an ABC-CBS duopoly in Erie, Pa. (WICU and WSEE), and the ABC affiliate in Elmira, N.Y. (WENY).

Comments (12)

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Curt Molander says:

November 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

That is a steal.

Mike Barras says:

November 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

A steal? Yes, Flint is such a hot market!!

Curt Molander says:

November 24, 2010 at 11:55 am

Yes, a steal. Both stations have multiple layers, layers upon layers of expenses that can be cut. Actually, there is so much melted lard in these O & O’s they really need a butter knife to push it off the table, it really cannot be sliced.

Russell Jones says:

November 24, 2010 at 1:09 pm

George, congratulations on your purchase!

Gary Hartman says:

November 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Appears to be a fair deal. Hope the affiliate agreement was settled before sale and or extended. Market spending on local tv is key here. WJRT is a leader in one of the weakest economys in the country. What is the overall spending in the Flint and Toledo marketts for broadcast? How long will that last?

M Corte says:

November 24, 2010 at 4:07 pm

ABC only bought these stations in 1995 in case WXYZ in Detroit switched to CBS after CBS lost WJBK to Fox. I guess after 15 years they decided there was no reason to keep them.

Sena Mourad says:

November 24, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Congratulations George and Brian. These are terrific stations.

Al Ming says:

November 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Should be a relatively good deal. ABC ran pretty fat operations; there should be plenty of room to “reduce expenses”.

Teri Keene says:

November 24, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Very good deal for SJL Broadcasting – nice for them to go home again!

Hope Yen and Charles Babington says:

November 25, 2010 at 10:54 am

George is one of the best station operators out there, I’ve never seen him hit anything but doubles, triples and usually home runs, and his teams win consistently and regularly. Congrats, Big Guy!

Carol Zillgitt says:

November 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

Geore butchered the EMMIS stations that he bought years ago. It’s a “strip and flip” deal for sure. Blackstone financed the EMMIS deal and forced Lilly to put out the “FOR SALE” sign because they saw their investments going south. The same will happen with this deal. George is NOT a good TV operator, and he does NOT care about the product. This is just an investment to make money. Good for George and bad for the stations. Ask anyone that has worked at his formerly stations.

Paul Bremer says:

November 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Hopefully they cut a deal on affiliation costs; those payments to ABC will dampen cash flows. Wonder if they will share retrans? With more programming ready to stream to web and mobile; why would anyone invest in legacy terrestrial transmission licenses? Unless they are very, very local with strong news, local enterprise and investigative reporting; any price for these stations is too high. It’s the ‘programming stupid’!!!!