HC2 Makes A Prime Time Move In Philly DMA


Halfway between the Walt Whitman Bridge and the Steel Pier alongside the Atlantic City Boardwalk is the town of Hammonton, New Jersey.

It is here where a digital Class A TV station is being sold. This station debuted 32 years ago and in recent years has focused on the Spanish-speaking audience found in the Vineland, N.J. area in addition to across the Delaware Valley and Southern New Jersey.

Now, this station is being sold. The buyer? Philip Falcone‘s HC2 Station Group.

Could Azteca América soon be getting a big bump in the Cradle of Liberty?

In a transaction filed with the FCC on Wednesday (2/14), an Asset Purchase Agreement reached Jan. 22 sees the Falcone-led HC2 acquiring WPSJ-8, a Philadelphia DMA station that of late has been an affiliate of the America TeVe Spanish-language broadcasting “netlet” based at WJAN-CD 41 in Miami.

The seller is the Bob Behar-led Prime Time Partners, with “WPSJ-CD Station LLC” shown as the licensee name. It is pocketing $1.7 million from the sale. Managing WPSJ from Miami has been José Rodriguez.

An $85,000 escrow deposit has been made by HC2 to PTP; it is being held by Fletcher Heald & Hildreth. 

HC2 has been on a buying blitz in recent months, and LPTVs have been a favorite choice for Falcone. In January, it agreed to purchase WRNT-LD 48 in Hartford, and WTXX-LD 34 in New Haven for $2 million.

As 2017 came to a close, HC2 purchased 7 Class A TV stations in the Pittsburgh market for $275,000 and KUGB-CD 28 in Houston for $1.5 million. In mid-October, it paid $9.6 million for 14 LPTV stations from Three Angels Network (3ABN), and in September 2017 acquired Mako Communications‘ 38 low-power TV stations across 22 cities.

But the big prize for HC2 is the Azteca América Spanish-language broadcast network, which it agreed to acquire for an undisclosed price. With the network comes the broadcast TV assets of Northstar Media — a collection of low-power TV stations that comprise the largest Azteca América affiliate group in the U.S.

Following that deal came the $2.7 million acquisition of KMOH-6, licensed to Kingman, Ariz., and its more valuable simulcast partner — KEJR-LD 40 in Phoenix — from Hero Broadcasting.

Thus, there’s a very good chance WPSJ-8 is poised to become Azteca América’s Philadelphia affiliate. It has aired America TeVe programming since February 2017, and was the market’s home for the now-defunct MundoMax and MundoFox networks, respectively.

WPSJ was founded in 1986 by Engle Broadcasting, led by Paul Engle. As reported by RBR+TVBR on Feb. 9, Engle is acquiring WMGM-LP 7 in Atlantic City (with .029kw) and WMGM-LD 10 in Atlantic City (with 3kw) from Access.1 Communications for $60,000.

Engle was profiled in Inc. magazine in May 2010 for his 24 years running WPSJ-8. At the time, the station was for sale. As 2012 came to a close, Engle had secured WPSJ’s sale to Prime Time Partners.