Two Class A TV stations that got no takers in the just-concluded spectrum auction have just been sold, giving the seller a payday that may be a bit smaller than what it initially anticipated.
In one deal, a Milwaukee facility’s sale saw Kalil & Co. act as the escrow agent and the buyer’s broker and Patrick Communications representing the seller in this deal.
The other deal involves a San Francisco facility that’s going for the bargain price of $2.8 million, with Kalil & Co. representing this other buyer and Patrick representing the seller.Class A WMKE-CD 21 in Milwaukee attracted no bidders in the just-concluded spectrum auction.
Thus, owner LocusPoint Networks put the station up for sale and contracted Patrick Communications as its broker to get the deal done. A buyer has been found, and the Randy Nonberg-led Milwaukee Media LLC is purchasing the digital station for $650,000.
A $32,500 deposit has been made to Kalil & Co., which is also the buyer’s broker. WMKE will be moving to Channel 36, as it is being reassigned as a result of the post-auction station repack process.
Acting as LocusPoint’s legal counsel is Jonathan Cohen of Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP.
Milwaukee Media LLC’s legal counsel are Kathleen Kirby and Jessica Rosenthal of Wiley Rein LLP.
Nonberg, a lawyer based in Pacific Palisades, Calif., holds 70% interest in Milwaukee Media, while Frank Cannella Jr. holds the remaining 30% interest. Nonberg was the President/COO of Una Vez Más, the former owner of low-power TV stations that served as the largest affiliate group in the U.S. for the Spanish-language television network Azteca América.
WMKE since January 2016 has aired Luken Communications‘ automotive-focused Rev’n network.
‘FAMILY TELEVISION’ GETS NEW FAMILY
Class A KFTL-CD 28 in San Francisco is also being sold by LocusPoint Networks.
The buyer is Poquito Más Communications LLC, not to be confused with the Tex-Mex quick-service restaurant that’s found across Los Angeles.
It’s a bit of bargain for Poquito Más, as its obtaining a TV station in one of the nation’s biggest markets for $2.85 million.
A $142,500 escrow deposit is being made to Kalil & Co., on behalf of LocusPoint.
With the pending post-auction repack, KFTL will move to Channel 21.
Until now, KFTL has been airing religious programming. The buyer is likely to air programming of appeal to Hispanic consumers.
REPACK ASSIGNMENT CONFIRM JUST THE BEGINNING
“Let the M&A games begin!”
That’s the key thought from Dan Hays, principal at PwC Strategy&, as the FCC gets set to lift the prohibited communication rules tied to its now-completed broadcast spectrum incentive auction.
“The completion of the broadcast spectrum incentive auction and the lifting of the prohibited communication rules shows just how widespread the impact of the auction will be on the broadcast community,” Hays says. “It is not an end, but rather a beginning, however, for the 39-month transition to the new 600 MHz band plan.”
Hays notes that much work lies ahead for broadcasters who have entered into channel- sharing agreements or who have been involuntarily repacked as part of the auction process.
“Re-engineering their signals, educating viewers, and reassuring local stakeholders will all be part of the process,” Hays says. “Similarly, for many broadcasters who are winners in the auction, winding down their operations, transitioning to other distribution approaches, or refocusing on other parts of their businesses may also require rethinking their operating models, finances, and even staffing.”
Hays notes that the mobile network operators who were previously announced as winners in the forward auction are already chomping at the bit to get their hands on “the precious, low-band spectrum that lies ahead.” He says, “They will surely be vigilant in making sure that the transition goes smoothly and rapidly. As the industry looks ahead to the introduction of 5G and the expansion of IoT services, this new spectrum will be a critical enabler of the future.”