NEW YORK — A presently silent low-power TV station serving Ohio’s state capital is heading to a new owner.
This facility was once the market’s home for Azteca América programming. Who’s the buyer? An Oxford-educated, New York-based investor in TV and media who runs a mini private equity portfolio.
In a Form 345 filing made with the FCC, TVO Media is selling WCPX-LP, a low-power TV station with a construction permit to broadcast on UHF Channel 35 in Columbus, Ohio.
The buyer is Roseland Broadcasting of Columbus Ohio Licenses LLC — an entity that lists a post office box at The UPS Store in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan as its address.
Upon closer inspection of the filing, the owner of this company — and the individual paying for the postbox on Eighth Avenue and West 53rd Street — is Matthew Davidge.
Davidge considers himself a “media entrepreneur,” and in February 2016 acquired the Little Rock-based media communications center previously owned by Soul of the South Network that serves as the home for Media Gateway, which he co-owns. Media Gateway is an outsourced master control and news-reading company.
Based at the Arkansas facilities is “Frixxer,” founded in September 2015 as “a network of short-form (under :30) microvideo content for the channel-hopping TV audience.”
Davidge has also been a digital strategy consultant to MTV Networks, and owned in-hospital TV networks housed under The Wellness Network through the end of 2015.
Today, under his company Box 773, Davidge is the co-owner of NBC affiliates WRDE-31 in Salisbury-Ocean City, Md., and WVNC-45 in Watertown, N.Y.; and CBS affiliate KSWL-17 in Lake Charles, La., which debuted on Feb. 15, 2017.
Now, Davidge is looking at TV ownership in a much bigger market: DMA No. 32.
The purchase price for the Columbus LPTV station, which has been dark for nearly two years, is $25,000. A 10% security deposit has been made to Shainis & Peltzman, the seller’s legal counsel.
WCPX has had a difficult history. It debuted in January 1985, and in 1998 aligned itself with the Pax TV network from the former Paxson Broadcasting. From 2005-2007, WCPX found itself again an unaffiliated station, until adopting ION programming for most of 2007.
In January 2008, the Spanish-language Azteca América network found itself a home in Columbus, an emerging Hispanic market, in WCPX. The affiliation agreement ultimately failed, with WCPX shifting to the Mexicanal network while still targeting first-generation Hispanic immigrants.
Then came the loss of operations on WCPX’s original channel, analog UHF Channel 48. That’s because full-power WSYX-6, Columbus’ ABC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, began broadcasting in digital on Channel 48 on Aug. 30, 2010.
In the repack, WSYX is to move to digital Channel 28, while WCPX holds an application to reclaim Channel 48.
TVO Media, the seller, is led by Sarasota, Fla.-based Cathleen Hancock.