Exactly five months ago, one of the world's most-respected business news organizations reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group would "soon" be making a Form 314 filing with the FCC that would see the transfer of control of "about 10 stations" to 21st Century FOX. They were mostly correct: A deal has finally been struck, and seven TV stations are trading hands.
In the Colorado ski resorts of Aspen and Snowmass is an entity doing business as "Aspen 82." In the lone item up for discussion in TRANSACTIONS TODAY presented by RBR+TVBR, it has just acquired a dormant LPTV in one of those slope-filled cities.
Score another one for Philip Falcone's HC2 Station Group. In an asset purchase agreement filed with the Commission on Friday, HC2 is acquiring yet another low-power TV station. This time, it is snagging a Class A facility that just happens to be in one of the nation's biggest revenue markets. Also in TRANSACTIONS TODAY: CNZ Communications completes a Texas TV buy involving both Kalil & Co. and Patrick Communications.
On Thursday RBR+TVBR exclusively reported on the acquisition of three LPTVs in the San Francisco DMA by HC2 Holdings. It is now known that the seller of these low-power facilities is not leaving the area: It has just acquired a full-power facility, in Mendocino County, in order to continue broadcasts to the market.
In Hollywood, Fla., sits a little-known broadcast TV station owner that, until now, has owned 20 LPTV facilities across Washington, South Dakota, Oregon, North Dakota, and Colorado, and in the city of Marquette, Mich. The company that has just purchased these stations is very widely known: It's the Philip Falcone-led HC2 Station Group.
On Dec. 12, RBR+TVBR's TRANSACTIONS TODAY reported on the sale of a full-power UHF facility licensed to Lewiston, Maine, to ION Media Networks. That deal has now closed, and this has resulted in a programming shift and the arrival of a new set of call letters. Also today: A Utah deal involving the spin of two FM translators is announced.
A newly formed company serving a market that's home to Purdue University is now the owner of one of the nation's newest ABC affiliates. It's a formality, really: This company signed on the station in July 2017, and it has been owned by an affiliated operation. Now, Bill Christian and Mike Reed are simply making a bookkeeping change with the FCC.
More than two years after a deal was struck that would have transferred a full-power MyNetwork TV affiliate in Arkansas' state capital and its low-power simulcast serving the market to an affiliate of The Pollack Companies, the transaction has finally closed.
A full-power TV station serving the city of Lubbock, Texas has just been sold. As a result, the CW Network affiliate for this Lone Star market will soon be in the hands of a crosstown company the owner already enjoys a relationship with. It's a transaction that could be the result of relaxed FCC ownership restrictions recently approved by the Ajit Pai-led Commission.
On February 13, RBR+TVBR's TRANSACTIONS TODAY reported on the acquisition of three full-power and two LPTV stations in Wyoming from Mark III Media. The purchase contract contains a requirement that Gray divest that station’s license to a third party promptly, and Gray said it would donate this station’s license to a non-profit entity. That's just happened, with the property going directly from Mark III to an institution of higher learning.
In the Hawaiian islands, KWHE-14 in Honolulu is known for its "ohana" television offerings. Found on Oceanic Spectrum and Hawaiian Telecom systems across the state, KWHE is known for its mix of classic syndicated family-oriented sitcoms and a slate of religious and ministry programming, including The Dr. Sumrall Teaching Series. Could changes be on the way for KWHE? No. But, there may be some changes at a simulcast partner based on the island of Maui, which is being sold by KWHE's parent.
There is one company that stands out from the pack with respect to TV station acquisitions. Since the end of the FCC's spectrum auction, the Philip Falcone-led HC2 Holdings has been rapidly snapping up television properties — the majority of them low power properties. In the latest deal to involve HC2, a Class A facility in Tennessee that is presently silent is being snapped up.
With Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media agreeing to “resubmit or amend” their applications filed with the FCC in connection with MB Docket No. 17-179 — the formal name given to the review of Sinclair’s planned merger with Tribune, there's already some buzz regarding what changes have been made. A look at the FCC's database today suggests that it is abandoning its plan to own two of the top four stations in Pennsylvania's state capital.
Here's a transaction that involves an otter. That's the tongue-in-cheek branding for a low-power television station serving the Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz market, which has just been sold in a deal to an entity named Diya TV. It's the top deal in detail featured in RBR+TVBR's TRANSACTIONS TODAY for March 5, 2018.
CBS affiliate WJAX-47 in Jacksonville has enjoyed close ties with the market's FOX affiliate, WFOX-30, for a decade. It's the result of a sale of WJAX, formerly known as WTEV, by Clear Channel that closed in March 2008. Since July 2012, Cox Media Group has operated the two stations, with WJAX owned by Bayshore Television — a partner to CMG that would allow the company to avoid breaking the FCC's Top Four rule while maintaining operational control via a shared services and sales agreement. Now, Bayshore is selling WJAX. Nothing is poised to change for viewers, for staff, or for Cox.