FCC waives through temporary TV twofer


The 583M acquisition of three television stations by Raycom from Lincoln Financial Company filed last November was not without complications. The deal, which included WBTV-TV Charlotte NC (CBS/3); WCSC-TV Charleston SC (CBS/5); and WWBT-TV Richmond VA (NBC/12), created a duopoly in Richmond with WTVR-TV CBS/6 (and as if that wasn’t enough, Raycom also held an SSA with WUPV-TV CW/65). The company is not even going to attempt to slide the combination past the Commission on a permanent basis. And it wants to keep WWBT. So the company asked the FCC for six months to continue owning and operating WTVR while searching for a qualified buyer. It promised to operate the stations completely independently during the waiver period, notes that it already has four nibbles from prospective buyers, and adds that it has a binding agreement with DOJ to sell WTVR. Under these circumstances, the FCC has granted the six months.