A Rocket-Powered ‘Zombie’ Deal Finally Gets Filed


The tranquil town of Red Lion, Pa., nestled to the southeast of York, Pa., has now attracted national headlines for another “zombie” capture. This time, there’s a multi-million payment involved, and a big pay-day for the seller.

The deal was signed and sealed on Aug. 29. However, it’s only now been filed with the FCC.

There’s a full-power TV station licensed to Red Lion — WGCB-49. It presently uses Digital Channel 30, and that’s got some value to wireless carriers that participated in the FCC’s incentive auction.

With a full-power signal in the Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Pa., DMA just up the road from Baltimore, WGCB licensee NRJ TV attracted a $84,023,049 payout for its participation in Auction 1000.

A post-auction Channel-Sharing Agreement (CSA) was codified with ABC affiliate WHTM-27, owned by Nexstar Media Group.

Now, that CSA is being sold by NRJ TV to Rocket Dog LLC and Red Lion 49 Media. The price: $2.5 million.

A $100,000 non-refundable deposit has been made to the seller, with two closings agreed upon by the parties. The first closing includes redacted payment information; the second closing will see the payment of $1.5 million.

The agreement includes a 2018-2020 carriage elections statement, noting that the buyer and seller will cooperate with MVPDs in electing “must carry” status; this process has been completed based on the dates set forth in the agreement.

Furthermore, there is a lease-back agreement in place, as NRJ TV will remain the owner of the real property assets. A symbolic rental fee of $1 per month was agreed upon.

NRJ’s legal counsel in this transaction is  James Altenbach of Greenberg Traurig.

Jeff Winemiller

The buyer is led by Jeff Winemiller. He’s perhaps best-known as the owner of Pennsylvania Sports Entertainment Network, and Microwave Rental LLC, based in Manning, S.C.

He became manager of Rocket Dog in June 2017 and has a resume that includes stints as Chief Engineer of WPMT-43 in York, Pa., in the mid-1990s.

The sale of the CSA for WGCB concludes a huge profit-making adventure for Robert G. Andrews and Ted Bartley, principals of NRJ Holdings. They acquired WGCB in Sept. 2012 for $9 million from an estate tied to Red Lion Broadcasting Co.