News Corp. Local-izes eight stations

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Even with only one bidder (11/15/07 TVBR #224), it still took a while for News Corporation to come to terms on selling the group of medium-market Fox O&Os it had put up for sale. Oak Hill Capital Partners is indeed the buyer, for 1.1 billion bucks, expanding to 17 the TV group it had already begun as Local TV LLC by acquiring the former New York Times stations. In fact, News Corporation only sold eight of the nine stations it had put on the auction block, since Local TV already has WREG-TV (Ch. 3, CBS) and could not acquire WHBQ-TV (Ch. 13, Fox).


Saying the management teams and operations of the eight Fox stations are a “perfect fit” for Local TV, new CEO Bobby Lawrence, who just last week moved up as Randy Michaels became head of interactive and broadcasting for Tribune Company, said “The stations have an outstanding track record and we look forward to helping them continue their success. As also announced last week, the expanded Local TV group will be receive services from a new third-party broadcast management company owned by Tribune and headed by Michaels.

Adding the group of Fox stations will move Local TV into somewhat larger markets. Its current portfolio ranges from market #42 to #102, while the ones being added are from #17 Cleveland to #46 Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NC.

“This is a group of heritage news stations. They bring the power of the Fox network to our platform and their markets are a compliment to our existing mid to small market collection. We’re excited. This is a great acquisition,” Local TV CFO Pam Taylor told TVBR.

Fox O&O stations being sold to Oak Hill/Local TV LLC

CALLS

Ch.

Market

Rank

Rev. 06 (000)

WJW-TV

8

Cleveland-Akron, OH

17

72400

KDVR-TV

31

Denver, CO

18

44900

KTVI-TV

2

St. Louis, MO

21

39000

WDAF-TV

4

Kansas City, KS-MO

31

42900

WITI-TV

6

Milwaukee, WI

34

34900

KSTU-TV

13

Salt Lake City, UT

35

29200

WBRC-TV

6

Birmingham, AL

40

38500

WGHP-TV

8

Grnsboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NC

46

23950

Total

325750

Source: BIAfn Media Access Pro


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