On December 30, 2020, the sale of a former Tribune Media property serving the Big Apple formally closed. As a result, The E.W. Scripps Company was no longer the owner of The CW Network’s New York flagship, WPIX-11.
How Scripps ended up with the station, and how it ended up selling it, is a story of its own. Originally, Sinclair Broadcast Group planned to operate WPIX via a Joint Sales Agreement with Cunningham Broadcasting Corp., and its officer and director, Michael Anderson. That arrangement ended up in flames, triggered by former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s concerns over “sham” transactions created to push Sinclair’s planned merger with Tribune Media through the regulatory test.
Now, the current ownership of WPIX has come under scrutiny. But, it isn’t the Commission that’s complaining. Rather, it is one of the largest MVPD operators in the nation — and the owner of two direct competitors to WPIX in the Big Apple.