Sinclair’s Newport-built Mobile-Pensacola quartet


SBG / Sinclair Broadcast GroupThe Newport Television stations being bought by Sinclair include two in the Mobile AL-Pensacola FL DMA, and that’s a problem, because Sinclair already has two stations serving the market. Here’s how they’re working it out.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is buying NBC WPMI Mobile AL and indy WJTC Pensacola FL, and immediately assigning them to its partner in the Newport deal, Deerfield Media, headed by Stephen P. Mumblow. The overall Newport deal is for $412.5M, and Mumblow is getting this sliver of it for $6M, $5M of which is allocated to the NBC affiliate.

Sinclair will hang on to its existing in-market stations, ABC WEAR Pensacola FL and MNTV WFGX Fort Walton Beach.

It has an option to buy the two Newport stations from Deerfield should FCC rules ever be modified to the extent that it could own four stations in the market. SBG paid $10K for the option.

More to the point, SBG is striking a JSA and an SSA with Deerfield.

The JSA is structured like others agreed to by the two companies, sending 70% of all sales revenue, including retransmission consent collections, to Deerfield and allowing SBG to keep 30%.

Meanwhile, Deerfield is going to pay a fairly hefty fee in exchange for SBG’s services in running the stations. An annual contract calls for a $7,692,000 payment to SBG, with $7,138,000 allocated to WPMI and $554K allocated to WJTC. Combined, that works out to $641K monthly. The price will go up 5% each year.

RBR-TVBR observation: This particular deal underscores the differences in the way television and radio markets are defined. There are three different cities of license among the four stations in this cluster – Mobile AL, Pensacola FL and Fort Walton Beach FL, all part of the same Nielsen DMA.

In Arbitron’s radio world, they are three separate markets. And so it goes…