TBN Snags Two Top Market Signals


Trinity Broadcasting Network has just been given a greater opportunity to share the word of Christ to viewers in two of the nation’s biggest markets.

In a deal brokered by Greg Guy of Patrick Communications, TBN will soon have a deeper presence in the Windy City and the New York Tri-State Area. It involves a pair of low-power TV stations.

For $13 million, TBN is acquiring WDVB-CD 23, licensed to Edison, N.J., and serving the New York DMA; and WLPD-CD 35 in Chicago.

The seller is LocustPoint Networks, led by Bill deKay and Ravi Potharlanka, the entity’s co-founders. However, they own just 1% of the company. The other 99% of LocustPoint is held by Blackstone Group.

Given the seller, this deal is not in the least bit surprising. LocustPoint in the last half decade had built its reputation not as an operator of TV stations but as a possessor of valuable spectrum of desire to wireless communications services. Auction 1000, the FCC’s spectrum auction, was meant to provide the windfall from investment in properties such as WDVB and WLPD.

But, LocustPoint wasn’t one of the big winners in the incentive auction; it pocketed $11,196,327 for WQVC-CD in Pittsburgh and $3,994,492 for WLPH-CD in Miami. By comparison, the Los Angeles Unified School District pocketed $130,510,880 for saying goodbye to the spectrum associated with KLCS-58.

On the flip side, TBN is ensuring it continues to serve the Chicago and New York markets with owned-and-operated properties after cashing in big time in Auction 1000.

TBN banked $304,250,040 for relinquishing the spectrum associated with WWTO-35 in Chicago. It also pocketed $162,402,181 for saying goodbye to the first over-the-air signal in New York’s Hudson Valley — WTBY-54 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in the New York DMA.

WDVB and WLPD are shifting channels as part of the post-spectrum auction repack process; WDVB is moving to Channel 22 and WLPD is relocating to Channel 32.