ACME sells its Madison station


Just days after reporting Q3 results for its remaining three stations, ACME Communications is moving to pare down to only two. It has announced a deal to sell WBUW-TV (CW) Madison, WI.

Byrne Acquisition Group LLC is buying WBUW for $1.8 million. The all-cash transaction is expected to close in Q2 of 2012. Byrne’s only current broadcast property is W48CX, a low-power TV on Hilton Head Island, SC which brands itself as WHHI. FCC records show that it is owned 50/50 by Blake Byrne of Los Angeles, CA (former GM of KCAL-TV and a founder of Argyle Television, now part of Hearst Television) and his son, John Byrne of Rock Hill, SC.

“We are more than excited to bring our broadcast experience to WBUW and their dedicated team of employees. We are looking forward to serving the community and the viewers of WBUW and the Madison market. We appreciate the efforts that ACME has provided to the community of Madison,” said President John Byrne.

ACME also announced that its Board of Directors has approved a special distribution of the LIN TV Corp. common stock it received in connection with LIN’s May 2011 purchase of the Company’s television stations in Dayton and Green Bay. A total of 850,000 shares of LIN stock, which represents approximately 74% of the shares received in the May transaction, will be distributed pro-rata to ACME shareholder of record at the close of business on December 23rd and delivered on December 29th.

ACME said it expects to distribute the remaining LIN shares following the expected second quarter 2012 closing of the Madison transaction.

Once the Madison sale closes, ACME will own only KWBQ-TV (CW) and KASY-TV (MyNet) Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM and The Daily Buzz, LLC, which produces the weekday morning news and lifestyle television program “The Daily Buzz.”

“The sale of our Madison station reflects our continued focus on prudently liquidating our remaining assets. We want to thank our Madison employees for their dedicated services in a difficult operating environment and believe that the Byrne family will provide a new and transforming chapter in the station’s life,” said ACME President and CEO Doug Gealy.

RBR-TVBR observation: As we noted previously, the last two stations are going to be the toughest to sell from what was once an 11-station group. We wait to see who steps up to buy that CW/MyNet combo in Albuquerque.