Newport Television Sells Fox 16, CW 38 To Nexstar-Mission Alliance

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 253 views 

Newport Television, LLC, the private equity group that owns two television stations in Little Rock, announced a deal on Thursday (July 19) to sell a slew of its stations to 3 different groups.

Newport signed agreements to sell its portfolio of TV stations to Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc., Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., and Cox Media Group for approximately $1 billion.

Nexstar, which has TV stations in Little Rock and Fayetteville, will own 10 TV stations from Newport. It says it worked in partnership with Mission Broadcasting for the two Little Rock stations, KLRT-Fox 16 and KASN-CW 38, in order to avoid potential regulatory conflicts from owning too many stations in one market.

A joint press release from Nexstar and Mission said Mission will actually acquire the two Little Rock stations.

Talk Business first reported the story yesterday. Also, Talk Business airs on KLRT-Fox 16.

Other details regarding the individual transactions are as follows:

Nexstar Broadcasting purchased 10 stations, including: KTVX and KUCW (Salt Lake City, UT); WPTY and WLMT (Memphis, TN); WJKT (Jackson, TN) WSYR (Syracuse, NY); WETM (Elmira, NY); WIVT and WBGH (Binghamton, NY); and WWTI (Watertown, NY). Nexstar Broadcasting also purchased Newport’s Inergize Digital Media operations.

Sinclair Broadcast purchased

6 stations, including: WOAI (San Antonio, TX); WHP (Harrisburg, PA); WKRC (Cincinnati, OH); WPMI (Mobile, AL); and KSAS and KMTW (Wichita, KS). Sinclair also is acquiring Newport’s rights to program and operate WLYH (Harrisburg, PA) and KMTW (Wichita, KS) pursuant to local marketing agreements.

Cox Media Group purchased 4 stations, including: WAWS and WTEV (Jacksonville, FL); and KOKI and KMYT (Tulsa, OK).

Newport is continuing to pursue a sale of its five remaining stations: KGET (Bakersfield, CA); KGPE (Fresno, CA); WHAM (Rochester, NY); WXXA (Albany, NY); and KMTR (Eugene, OR).

Newport CEO Sandy DiPasquale said, “These divestitures are the result of a thoughtful strategic review process conducted by the Board to maximize value at Newport, and we believe these high quality stations will have a bright future with their new owners. Nexstar, Sinclair, and Cox are well-suited to foster continued success at each of these stations. We and our partners at Providence appreciate the hard work and dedication of all the employees at our television stations. We are in discussions with potential buyers of our remaining stations and are confident we will find the right new owner for each of them.”

The transactions are subject to regulatory approval and are expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.