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WTVF-TV Price Pegged at $200 Million

WTVF-TV in Nashville, Tenn., is being sold to a group led by the former chief of Emmis Television. The CBS affiliate station is being divested by Landmark Communications, the privately held media company in Norfolk, Va., that just sold The Weather Channel to NBC Universal and two investment banks for $3.5 billion. WTVF and KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, Landmark“s two broadcast station, were placed on the auction block in late January. No buyer has yet been identified for KLAS, also a CBS affiliate.

Bonten Media Group of New York agreed to buy the DMA No. 30 TV station. Bonten was formed two years ago by a private equity group, Diamond Castle Holdings, and Randall Bongarten, the former president of Emmis Television. Bongarten said the purchase reflected the group“s confidence in local TV. Excluding WTVF, Bonten owns and operates 16 full- and lower-power TV stations in eight small and mid-sized markets.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Broadcasting and Cable reported a figure in excess of $200 million. Lehman Brothers provided debt financing; UBS Investment Bank was financial adviser to Bonten.