Sinclair closes on Newport deal, adds another in Rochester


SBG / Sinclair Broadcast GroupSinclair, Cox and Nexstar bought up the bulk of the Newport Television group earlier this year, and Sinclair said it has now closed on its part of the acquisition. And it’s buying part of another Newport station as well.

The station is WHAM-TV, the ABC affiliate serving Rochester NY.

Sinclair already owns WUHF there, the local Fox outlet.

Only the non-license assets of WHAM will be going to Sinclair, for $54M. Sinclair will enter into a JSA and an SSA with the station.

Sinclair said in a statement, “The acquisitions add two new markets and additional stations in four markets where Sinclair already has a presence. The net amount paid at closing, net of any previously paid deposits and sale proceeds, was $459.7 million, which was funded by the issuance of $500 million of 6.125% senior notes due 2022 earlier this quarter.”

Among the stations closed on:
* WTTA (MNT) Tampa, Florida previously operated by Sinclair pursuant to a local marketing agreement.
* KBTV (FOX) Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas market previously owned by Nexstar Broadcasting.
The following stations from Newport:
* WKRC (CBS) Cincinnati, Ohio
* WOAI (NBC) San Antonio, Texas
* WHP (CBS) Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon/York, Pennsylvania
* WPMI (NBC) and WJTC (IND) Mobile, Alabama
* KSAS (FOX) Wichita/Hutchinson, Kansas
* WHAM (ABC) Rochester, New York

RBR-TVBR notes that normally a company would not be able to announce the acquisition and announce closing on it at the same time, as Sinclair has done with WHAM – it takes awhile for the FCC to examine and approve any such transaction. But that is not the case this time. Since the license is not being sold, there is nothing for the FCC to consider.