LIN TV Buys ACME Stations for $11.5 Million

PROVIDENCE, R.I., and SANTA ANA, CALIF.: LIN TV exercised an option to buy two TV stations from ACME Communications, the seller reported today. LIN purchased the assets of WIWB-TV in Green Bay, Wis., and WBDT-TV in Dayton Ohio for $11.5 million, ACME said. LIN operates both of the CW affiliates under shared service agreements. LIN already owns WDTN-TV, the NBC affiliate in Dayton, and WLUK-TV, the Fox affiliate in Green Bay.

The FCC application to transfer ownership is expected to be filed within the next three weeks. A failing station waiver will be requested with regard to WIWB.

LIN retained the right to fund 50 percent of the purchase through issuance of unregistered shares of common stock. ACME will use the proceeds to pay off its revolving credit agreement.

ACME President and CEO Doug Gealy said, “We are delighted that LIN has exercised its option for our Dayton and Green Bay stations. The proposed transactions conform with ACME’s plans for the ultimate disposition of all its stations and will ultimately redound to the benefit of our shareholders. Upon the completion of these two transactions, and upon our sale of any LIN stock offered as part of the consideration, we plan to distribute any excess cash to our shareholders. In the meantime, we continue to pursue other opportunities to monetize our remaining assets.”

ACME will have just four stations after the divestiture of WIWB and WBDT--WBXX-TV in Knoxville, Tenn.; WBUW-TV in Madison, Wis.; and KWBQ-TV and KASY-TV, Albuquerque-Santa Fe, N.M. All are CWs except for KASY, a MyNetwork affil. LIN also operates the two Albuquerque stations and has a purchase option for both.

ACME shares (PINK: ACME) opened at $1.08, from closing at around $1.05 last Friday. LIN (NYSE: TVL) fell off from an open of $4.58 this morning to $4.45 in mid-morning trading.
-- Deborah D. McAdams