Another Strong Session For Nexstar On Indy Duopoly News


Nexstar Media Group enjoyed another up day on Wall Street today, as the broadcast TV station owner seeking to merge with Tribune Broadcasting revealed that it seeks to keep its duopoly situation in Indianapolis intact following the acquisition.

At the Closing Bell Friday, NXST was up 60 cents, to $84.07.

Volume was lighter than its average 691,796 shares, with 330,146 shares traded.

The gain came as an FCC transfer application filed by Nexstar indicates it wishes to get a waiver of its rule nixing common ownership of two top four stations in a market. In Indianapolis, it wants to own both CBS affiliate WTTV-4 and the FOX affiliate, WXIN. Why? “It would serve the public interest,” Nexstar argues.

If it can own WTTV and WXIN, then WISH-TV, an affiliate of The CW Network, and MyNetwork TV affiliate WNDY-TV, would be put on the block.

WISH is a former CBS affiliate, and had been owned by LIN Media.

Some 13 markets have overlap between Tribune Broadcasting and Nexstar.
And, it said earlier this week that it is seeking buyers for WTKR-TV in Norfolk; WGNT-TV in Portsmouth, Va.; and WNEP-16 in Nexstar’s first market, Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

The Tidewater region sees Shared Services partner Dreamcatcher Communications operate for Tribune WTKR-3 and WGNT-27. Nexstar already owns NBC affiliate WAVY-10 and WVBT-43, the FOX affiliate.

Tribune-owned WNEP-16 will not become a Nexstar station in the market where the company began some 22 years ago. Nexstar’s first station, CBS affiliate WYOU-22, will remain paired with NBC affiliated WBRE-28 in Scranton-Wilkes Barre.


What will Nexstar Media Group look like following its blockbuster merger with Tribune Media? We take a stab at it, noting that certain divestitures required to make the deal happen have yet to be announced.