TEGNA to acquire KFSM, 10 other TV stations

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 2,106 views 

Media conglomerate TEGNA will acquire 11 television stations in eight markets, including powerhouse KFSM in the Fort Smith/Northwest Arkansas market. The move comes as Nexstar Media Group divests several stations as part of its December 2018 larger acquisition of Tribune Media Company, KFSM’s parent company.

TEGNA has entered into a definitive agreement with Nexstar for:

  • WTIC/WCCT FOX/CW affiliates in Hartford-New Haven, CT
  • WPMT FOX affiliate in Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, PA
  • WATN/WLMT ABC/CW affiliates in Memphis, TN
  • WNEP ABC affiliate in Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA
  • WOI/KCWI ABC/CW affiliates in Des Moines-Ames, IA
  • WZDX FOX affiliate in Huntsville-Decatur-Florence, AL
  • WQAD ABC affiliate in Davenport, IA and Rock Island-Moline, IL
  • KFSM CBS affiliate in Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR

“TEGNA has a proven track record of acquiring highly attractive assets that create immediate value for shareholders through significant synergies. These stations are an excellent strategic and financial fit and bring additional geographic diversity to our portfolio of leading stations. They add four additional key markets to our strong political footprint as the 2020 presidential election gets underway. We continue to invest in growth and remain well positioned to capitalize on consolidation opportunities that are both strategic and financially prudent,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO of TEGNA.

Talk Business & Politics is a content partner with KFSM. The Talk Business & Politics television program airs Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on KFSM.

According to a company release, the transaction will be structured as an asset purchase at a multiple for the company of 6.7 times expected average 2018/2019 EBITDA, including run rate synergies and net present value of tax savings (or 7.7 times, prior to tax savings). TEGNA will finance the transaction through the use of available cash and borrowing under its
existing credit facility.

In December 2018, Nexstar Media Group and Tribune Media Company jointly announced they had entered into an agreement to combine their companies. As part of that agreement, Nexstar announced it would be divesting stations from its portfolio to comply with regulatory ownership limits.

Nexstar already owns KNWA and KFTA affiliates, NBC and Fox respectively, in the Fort Smith/Northwest Arkansas market already.

TEGNA’s agreement to acquire these eleven television stations is contingent on the closing of the Nexstar-Tribune merger, expected to take place in the late third quarter/early fourth quarter of 2019. It is also subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

J.P. Morgan and Greenhill & Co. are acting as financial advisor and Nixon Peabody LLP, Jenner & Block LLP and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP are acting as legal counsel to TEGNA in connection with the proposed transaction.