DMAS 91, 102,108 & 158

Sinclair Buys Four Cox TVs For Nearly $100M

Sinclair is paying $99 million, less $4.3 million of working capital adjustments, for network affiliates in El Paso, Texas; Johnstown-Altoona, Pa.; Reno, Nev,; and Wheeling, W.Va.

Sinclair Broadcast Group on Monday said it is buying four TV stations in four markets from Cox Media Group for $99 million, less $4.3 million of working capital adjustments. As part of the deal, Sinclair is talking over Cox’s duopoly partnership in one market.

Sinclair said it expects to finance the purchase, less $5 million in deposits, through a bank loan or by accessing the capital markets. It also said it expects the deal, which is subject to FCC approval, to close in the second quarter.

The four stations Sinclair is buying.

  • KFOX (Fox) El Paso, Texas DMA 91
  • WJAC (NBC) Johnstown-Altoona, Pa. DMA 102
  • KRXI (Fox) Reno, Nev. DMA 108
  • WTOV (NBC) Wheeling, W.Va.-Steubenville, Ohio DMA 158

Since FCC rules prohibit ownership of two stations in markets as small as Reno, Sinclair will follow Cox’s lead and operate MNT affiliate KAME Reno under contract with a third-party licensee, Deerfield Media.

Cox announced last summer that it wanted to sell the four stations to “focus on larger markets, cross-media collaboration and heightened impact in fewer markets.” That announcement came after it had purchased duopolies in larger markets — Jacksonville, Fla., and Tulsa, Okla. — from Newport Television.

“Over the past 18 months, we have led the industry’s consolidation efforts in the mid-sized markets, purchasing 30 TV stations and creating over $400 million of equity value,” said David Smith, president-CEO of Sinclair. “We believe there are many more opportunities to acquire quality assets and to unlock hidden value, including in the smaller markets, such as where the CMG stations operate. We believe our platform size and leadership position allow us to bring meaningful purchasing power and negotiating leverage to these stations. Including synergies, we believe the CMG stations can generate approximately $20 million of cash flow, on average.”

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Smith continued, “We have prided ourselves on being a forward-looking company with a history of creating innovative ways to unlock value for our shareholders. We have established Chesapeake TV as the primary operating entity for the Cox stations and other small market stations we may acquire, while STG will continue to be our primary operating entity for mid-sized market stations. We believe a dual operating structure is critical to the success of a small market strategy since the economics and competitive nature can differ from those of the mid-sized markets.”


Comments (6)

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Joanne McDonald says:

February 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Sinclair ought enter a JSA/LMA/SSA with KDBC and move all of KDBC operations into KFOX studios completely away from KTSM with Deerfield Media running KDBC in El Paso, Texas and also buy KPTM with Deerfield running KXVO in Omaha, Nebraska, KPTH with Deerfield running KMEG in Sioux City, Iowa, KMPH and KFRE in Fresno, California, and Deerfield running WCWG in Greensboro, North Carolina to keep those stations alive. Sinclair may see KDNL getting CW in Saint Louis, and WXLV getting FOX and WCWG keeping CW in Greensboro-High Point while ABC moves to KTVI and FOX moves to KPLR in Saint Louis and FOX moves to KWGN and CW moves to KDVR in Denver with Tribune for KPLR and KWGN and Local TV LLC for KTVI and KDVR in a side deal unrelated to a Sinclair owned and or operated TV station.

    Joanne McDonald says:

    February 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Update:

    Sinclair ought enter a JSA/LMA/SSA with KDBC and move all of KDBC operations into KFOX studios completely away from KTSM with Deerfield Media running KDBC in El Paso, Texas and also buy KPTM with Deerfield running KXVO in Omaha, Nebraska, KPTH with Deerfield running KMEG in Sioux City, Iowa, KMPH and KFRE in Fresno, California, and Deerfield running WCWG in Greensboro, North Carolina to keep those stations alive. Chesapeake TV gets KPTM/KXVO, KPTH/KMEG, and KDBC and Sinclair gets KMPH/KFRE, and WCWG. Sinclair may see KDNL getting CW in Saint Louis, and WXLV getting FOX and WCWG keeping CW in Greensboro-High Point while ABC moves to WGHP in Greensboro-High Point, ABC moves to KTVI and FOX moves to KPLR in Saint Louis and FOX moves to KWGN and CW moves to KDVR in Denver with Tribune for KPLR and KWGN and Local TV LLC for WGHP, KTVI and KDVR in a side deal unrelated to a Sinclair owned and or operated TV station. Sinclair ought to send KABB in San Antonio, and WMYV in Greensboro-High Point over to Cunningham while sending WSMH to Deerfield Media. I would favor Nexstar/Mission grabbing WPMI/WJTC, WHP/WLYH, WSYT/WNYS, WYZZ, KRCG, KHQA, KTVO, and KBTV from Sinclair with Sinclair grabbing KLRT/KASN, and WUHF from Nexstar/Mission. I would favor Raycom/American Spirit Media grabbing WFXL. I would favor London Broadcasting grabbing KGBT, and KVII/KVHI. I would favor Gannett buying WTTA to merge with WTSP, WUCW to merge with KARE, and KDNL to merge with KSDK.

Shannon Dwyer says:

February 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm

In the case of Johnstown-Altoona, Pa and Wheeling, W.Va.-Steubenville, Ohio they go from being a sister station of WPXI-TV (NBC) Pittsburgh to being a sister station of WPGH-TV (FOX) and WPMY-TV (MY Network TV) Pittsburgh.
Also CMG’s WPXI produces a 10 pm news for Sinclair’s WPGH so I wonder if somehow some way WTOV or WJAC could move some or all of it’s news resources to Pittsburgh and sinclair produces it own newscast instead of out sourcing it to CMG as both Wheeling and Johnstown are only 60 miles for Pittsburgh.

Jay Miller says:

February 26, 2013 at 9:55 am

God help those good people from COX

Ashley Messina says:

February 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

thxx, you got that so right! Especially the ones at WTOV who experienced Rust Craft…

Dale Godfrey says:

February 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm

tjxx, Bingo!! Cox runs quality stations, staffing is more than adequate, and people are well paid and valued. Now its going to Sinclair?? The poor people at the Cox stations should call one of Phil Lombardo’s stations, IF any of the former Phil-owned station’s staff managed not to get brainwashed, tortured, or killed!!


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