Journal expands into Nashville with CBS WTVF


Journal CommunicationsMultimedia Journal Communications says it isn’t just getting another television station in WTVF Nashville – it says the CBS affiliate will be a “cornerstone asset” – and as such, it will command a very impressive sales price.

The price tag amounts to $215M cash. The seller collecting the amount is Landmark Media Enterprises.

In addition to bringing CBS programming to the Nashville DMA, the Channel 5 facility broadcasts original programming of local interest on one digital side channel and the programming of network This TV on another.

An earlier deal to sell the station to Bonten Media didn’t make it to the finish line. The contract for that deal was dated 7/11/08 – right before the infamous financial crisis that was to occur a few short months later. According to reports, Bonten was relying on ill-fated Lehman Brothers for financial backing. In short, its ability to buy the station evaporated along with LB.

The station has held its value and then some, however. At a time when the availability of comparable price tags indicate a downward trajectory, according to the 7/11/08 contract Bonten was going to pay $209M for the station, so the price has actually appreciated by $6M.

“We are especially pleased to reach an agreement to purchase NewsChannel 5 in Nashville,” said Steven J. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Journal Communications. “This station will be a cornerstone asset within Journal Communications. WTVF TV is an exceptional local news station with an extraordinary staff that demonstrates its commitment to Nashville every single day. We are delighted to welcome NewsChannel 5’s outstanding team to Journal.”

Frank Batten, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Landmark, said, “We are extremely proud of what our News Channel 5 team has achieved. We are pleased that, in Journal, we have a buyer with a great culture and excellent opportunities for our employees to grow.”

“We are excited to add a top television station with a high performing team in one of the best markets in America to Journal’s TV and radio portfolio,” said Andre Fernandez, Journal’s President and CFO. “This acquisition also allows us to broaden our TV base with a high quality television asset, and is consistent with our strategy of increasing Broadcast’s overall contribution to Journal’s earnings and cash flow.”