Windy City LPTV Secured For Azteca Owner


LOS ANGELES — With an assortment of vintage shows like “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Doctor Who,” Luken Communications’ Retro TV seeks to connect with a nostalgia-seeking audience. In Chicago, the network returned to local airwaves in January.

Now, the station airing Retro TV and a host of multicast channels has been sold.

The buyer? The new parent company of a major Hispanic broadcast TV network.

In a deal finalized May 25 and filed with the Commission on Tuesday, HC2 Station Group — the rapidly growing entity led by Philip Falcone has agreed to purchase WPVN-CD 24 in Chicago from Polnet Communications’ WPVN Holdings LLC.

The asset purchase agreement, signed off by HC2 COO Les Levi, lists the purchase price at $7 million “plus any unreimbursed cost of capital improvements made by Polnet prior to closing due to the post-Spectrum Auction repack process.

No broker was involved in the transaction, while James Altenbach of Greenberg Traurig’s Atlanta office served as the legal counsel for Polnet in this deal. HC2’s legal counsel is Trey Hanbury of Hogan Lovells LLC.

The sale of WPVN could spell the end for Retro TV — or see its shift to a digital multicast channel. At present, WPVN has five multicast channels and 24.2 is open; they include Tuff TV, Polvision, Asian-targeted MBC, Korean Christian MC-TV, and Korean general interest KBS.

It’s a near certainty that WPVN will become Chicago’s home for Azteca América programming.

In November 2017, HC2 acquired the network for an undisclosed price. Concurrently, HC2 Network signed a definitive acquisition agreement to acquire the broadcast TV assets of Northstar Media LLC. Northstar owns a collection of low-power TV stations that comprise the largest Azteca América affiliate group in the U.S.

HC2 detailed the acquisition by noting that the Azteca transaction extends to the acquisition of professional staff across the U.S. involved in programming, marketing, advertising sales, finance and operations.

The Northstar transaction, which is subject to FCC approval, gives HC2 Network two full-power stations, eight Class A stations and eight LPTV stations. Additionally, HC2 Network would get the channel sharing agreement (CSA) for the full-power license of KEMO-TV in San Francisco.

HC2 already has a controlling equity interest in DTV America Corp., which currently carries Azteca video programming in 10 markets.

For Polnet, the sale of WPVN-CD marks its exit from television station ownership. It also comes following the May 9 sale of Class B WLIM-AM 1580 in Patchogue, N.Y.

As a result, Polnet will focus on its radio stations, comprised of WRKL-AM 910 in New City, N.Y., outside of New York; four AM stations in the Chicago DMA; and an AM in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla.