[opendtv] Largest operator of TV stations in U.S. buying three Gainesville stations

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2013 07:11:59 -0400


 Largest operator of TV stations in U.S. buying three Gainesville stations

Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group owns more TV stations than any company 
in the nation after a 50-station buying binge over the past three years -- and 
now has its sights on three Gainesville stations owned or operated by New Age 

Sinclair, which trades on Nasdaq, recently announced a definitive agreement to 
buy eight New Age stations for $90 million, including WGFL CBS4, WNBW NBC9 and 
WMYG-LP MY11. The deal also includes two Tallahassee stations -- WOLF FOX and 
WTLF CW -- and two in Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, Pa.

The company expects to close the deal in late 2013 or early 2014 pending 
antitrust and Federal Communications Commission approval, although the FCC is 
now closed as part of the federal shutdown.

Sinclair would further sell one of the stations in each of the three markets to 
comply with FCC rules that prohibit companies from buying more than one 
top-four station per market, although it would provide sales and other 
non-programming services to the stations under shared services and joint sales 
agreements. WNBW NBC9 would be sold to Cunningham Broadcasting Corp., which is 
controlled by family trusts of the family that founded Sinclair, according to a 
Sept. 20 USA Today article about the company’s rapid expansion.

WNBW is now owned by MPS Media and operated by New Age Media. Both companies 
share a Pennsylvania address and telephone number.

If the deal and other recent acquisition announcements close, Sinclair will own 
and/or operate 162 stations in 77 markets, reaching 38.7 percent of U.S. 

Sinclair and New Age officials did not return calls seeking comment, and local 
General Manager Todd Senter said he was under a gag order.

USA Today reported that the bright outlook for TV advertising, particularly 
political ads in swing states, and skyrocketing retransmission fees paid by 
cable and satellite providers have spurred the station buying binge.


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