Price revealed for Tupelo TV deal


Magnifying_glassThe sale of the lead station in a Tupelo television twosome was announced last month, and we later learned of a buyer for the second station. Now we know how much the station is going for.

WLOV-TV is being sold to Coastal Television Broadcasting Company LLC, headed by William A Fielder III. The seller is Matthew Dee’s Tupelo Broadcasting Inc.

The price will be $1.6M. As part of the deal, Dee has agreed not to compete with the buyer for a period of five years.

WLOV, licensed to West Point MS, is part of the Columbus-Tupelo-West Point MS DMA, ranked #133 by Nielsen. It’s an affiliate of Fox.

It had been in what it called a JSSA, or joint sales and services agreement, with WTVA, which though the magic of digital multicasting, is the local home for both NBC and ABC.

WTVA was bought by Bob Prather’s Heartland Media for $18.7M.

The JSSA is grandfathered, and Coastal intends to take advantage of it for the time being. On the transfer application filed with the FCC it stated, “We believe that the two year compliance period will give the licensees sufficient time to make alternative arrangements.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We provided these stats in earlier articles concerning this double-deal, but for your convenience, we’ll supply them again.
We quote ourselves: “The maximum anticipated value of an in-market full power television station is $13M, and the median value is just a bit less at $11M. Class As are anticipated to be worth $4M in either case.”

And now back to our live reporting and commentary stream!

We have only this to say – Coastal clearly can make a very quick and lucrative score if it decides to participate in the incentive auction. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to place $1.9M side by side with $13M-$11M and figure out which stack of green-tinted George Washington engravings is higher.

On the other hand, Coastal is an operator, with a Fox affiliate Anchorage and an extensive network of other stations there and in Fairbanks and Juneau for which it supplies programming and services.

And Fielder certainly sounds like an operator. At the time the WLOV deal was announced, he stated, “Coastal has a high level of commitment to the viewers and communities it serves and plans a seamless continuation of quality news, entertainment, and community service.”

Coastal is getting an affiliation with a major network and a second market on its portfolio – we’d guess there’s a very good chance it intends to remain for the long haul. Stay tuned.