Sinclair builds virtual duop in Richmond


Sinclair Broadcast Group announced a deal to buy WTVR-TV (CBS) Richmond from Raycom Media for $85 million. At the same time, Sinclair will sell its existing Richmond station, WRLH-TV (Fox) to Carma Broadcasting, then continue to provide sales and other non-programming related services to the buyer. So, it creates a virtual duopoly.

Raycom already had a virtual duop in Richmond when it cut a deal to buy three stations from Lincoln Financial Media. It elected to keep newly acquired WWBT-TV (NBC) and its shared services agreement with WUPV-TV (CW). It got only a temporary waiver to hold an extra station from the FCC [LINK] after already cutting a deal with DoJ to divest WTVR.

Sinclair said it expects to close its purchase of WTVR and divest the license assets of WRLH in Q3, following FCC approval.