Nexstar buys, sells and partners up in Evansville IN


Television group Nexstar, whose WTVW-TV Evansville IN lost its Fox affiliation, is now selling that station to Mission Broadcasting, striking an LMA with Mission, and buying ABC WEHT-TV from Gilmore Broadcasting Corporation. The WEHT price tag is $18.5M.

Mission will get the FCC license portion of the WTVW business from Nexstar for $6.7M, which will go toward the acquisition of WEHT, and the rest of the price will be drawn from Nexstar’s senior credit facility.

Nexstar’s Perry A. Sook commented, “Over its fifteen year history, Nexstar has emerged as the industry’s leading consolidator of stations in mid-sized markets through accretive transactions. The acquisition of WEHT-TV will further expand and diversify Nexstar’s station portfolio and opportunities to serve Evansville and the Tri-State viewing area of Southwestern Indiana, Northwestern Kentucky and Southeastern Illinois. “The purchase price for WEHT-TV is approximately four times the average 2010/2011 pro-forma projected cash flow. Under Nexstar’s ownership the station will realize additional retransmission revenues as well as synergistic operating improvements, and on a pro-forma basis the acquisition is both immediately accretive to results and de-leveraging on a debt-to-cash-flow basis.”

The deal will take Nexstar’s total of owned or operated stations to 66 in 26 markets. 22 of the markets will feature an LMA relationship with another owner.

Media investment banker Gammon Miller had a hand in the transaction. It noted that the station is Evansville’s oldest, dating to 1953. Gilmore has owned it since 1964.

Nexstar took WTVW independent after it was unable to come to terms with Fox. Its goal was to have an even more local focus than it did when it had a major network affiliation.