Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it has agreed to buy six TV stations
for $412.5 million. The deal brings Sinclair’s station acquisition total over
the last year to 23.
“The Newport stations acquisition is consistent with our focus of adding Big
Four affiliates in mid-sized markets and strengthening our in-market
positions,” said Sinclair president and CEO, David Smith.
The stations to be acquired include WKRC (CBS 12) in Cincinnati, Designated
Market Area No. 35; WOAI (NBC 48) in San Antonio, Texas, DMA 36; WHP (CBS 21) in
Harrisburg, Penn., DMA 41; WPMI (NBC 15) and WJTC (IND 45) serving Mobile, Ala.,
and Pensacola, Fla., DMA 60; and KSAS (Fox 26) serving Wichita and Hutchinson,
Kansas, DMA 67. The six stations collectively reach 3 percent of U.S. TV
Newport’s stations also have several secondary affiliations, including CW and
MNT, among others, which are included in the transaction. Sinclair will also
acquire Newport’s rights under the local marketing agreements with WLYH (CW 23)
in Harrisburg and KMTW (MNT 35) in Wichita, as well as options to acquire the
Sinclair said it will fund the transaction, less a $41.26 million deposit, with
cash on hand and a bank loan “and/or by accessing capital markets.” Assuming
current market conditions and Sinclair’s ability to “create synergistic
opportunities,” the stations are expected to add around $55 million to $60
million in pro forma TV cash flow for 2012-13. Subject to regulatory approval,
the deal is expected to close in December of this year.
Separately, Sinclair announced an agreement to buy WTTA-TV, a MyNetworkTV
affiliate in Tampa, Fla., from Bay Television, Inc., for $40 million. Bay
TV is owned primarily by Sinclair’s controlling shareholders. Since 1998,
Sinclair has operated WTTA pursuant to a local marketing agreement, which will
be terminated upon closing. As this transaction is between entities under
common control, a fairness opinion was obtained by Sinclair’s board The
transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to
In yet another deal, is selling KMYS, a CW in San Antonio, Texas, and WSTR, a
MyNetworkTV affiliate in Cincinnati, to Deerfield Media, Inc., subject to the Fox
Television Stations purchase option with respect to WSTR, which expires March
31, 2013. Deerfield is also getting the right to buy WPMI and WJTC in the Mobile,
Ala.-Pensacola, Fla., market. Sinclair will continue to run the stations after
the transfer under shared services and joint sales agreements.
Pro forma for the
Newport transaction, Sinclair will own, operate and run 82 TV stations in 47
markets, reaching 27.3 percent of the U.S. TV households. Sinclair’s
affiliate list will include 21 Fox stations, 19 MyNetworkTV, 15 CWs, 11 ABC, 11
CBS, three NBC, one indie and one Azteca.