Withers has success with failure


The formation of a television duopoly in the small Clarksburg-Weston DMA has survived a formal challenge and been given the go-ahead by the FCC. That means that the acquisition of Fox WVFX-TV by Withers Broadcasting Company is approved. It’ll double up with CBS WDTV-TV. West Virginia Media, licensee of the only other full-power commercial station in the market, objected to the deal between Withers and seller Davis Television of Clarksburg, but the two parties to the transaction prevailed on failing station grounds. WVM’s arguments could not overcome the failure of the station to generate positive cash flow or build significant audience. That last factor was in dispute, with varying methodologies cited by both parties, but in the end, Wither’s contention that cable viewing must be counted when looking at a market with deep 94% MVPD penetration. Brokerage firm Kalil & Co. testified to another relevant matter: their failure to find an alternate buyer despite contacting about 15 potential station owners. The deal, filed at the FCC 6/28/07, is valued at 5M. WVFX-TV adds CW programming to its Fox offerings via a DTV side channel.