Scripps, TEGNA Close On Nexstar/Tribune Spins


Nexstar Media Group and Tribune Media are officially one.

The companies completed their merger on Thursday, with closing announced following market close.

As a result, TEGNA has completed its acquisition of 11 spinoffs, including eight Big Four affiliates, from Nexstar for $740 million in cash.

TEGNA now owns or operates 62 television stations across 51 markets, reaching more than 38% of U.S. television households.

The acquired stations include:

WTIC/WCCT — FOX/CW affiliates in Hartford-New Haven, CT

WPMT — FOX affiliate in Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, PA

WATN/WLMT — ABC/CW affiliates in Memphis, TN

WNEP — ABC affiliate in Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA

WOI/KCWI — ABC/CW affiliates in Des Moines-Ames, IA

WZDX — FOX affiliate in Huntsville-Decatur-Florence, AL

WQAD — ABC affiliate in Davenport, IA and Rock Island-Moline, IL

KFSM — CBS affiliate in Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR

“These acquisitions enhance and diversify our portfolio of Big Four stations in key markets, including election battleground states, and reinforce our commitment to creating value for our shareholders,” said TEGNA President/CEO Dave Lougee.

At the same time, The E.W. Scripps Company closed its acquisition of eight television stations in seven markets divested from the Nexstar merger with Tribune Media.

The acquisition grows the Scripps local television station footprint to 60 stations in 42 markets, making it the nation’s fourth-largest independent broadcaster with a reach of 31% of U.S. TV households.

Since Jan. 1, Scripps has added 27 television stations to its portfolio, and now expects 2020 company free cash flow to be in the range of $225 million to $250 million.

The stations joining Scripps’ television portfolio today are:

  • WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York City. (Scripps has granted Nexstar the option to buy back WPIX in New York City. The option is exercisable from March 31, 2020, through the end of 2021.)
  • KASW, the CW affiliate in Phoenix (which joins the Scripps ABC affiliate there)
  • WSFL, the CW affiliate in Miami–Fort Lauderdale (adjacent to the Scripps NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida)
  • KSTU, the Fox affiliate in Salt Lake City
  • WTKR, the CBS affiliate, and WGNT, the CW affiliate, in Norfolk, Virginia
  • WTVR, the CBS affiliate in Richmond, Virginia
  • WXMI, the Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Scripps is adding its first stations in the No. 1-ranked DMA of New York City and the states of Virginia and Utah.

It will now operate nine markets with more than one station, including in its second-largest market, Phoenix.