CINCINNATI—In relation to the Nexstar Media Group and Tribune Media proposed merger, the E.W. Scripps Company has announced that it has acquired eight television stations in seven markets. The new stations include two CBS, two Fox and four CW stations, bringing Scripps total station footprint to 59 in 42 markets, giving the company a 30 percent reach to U.S. TV households.
Scripps acquired seven stations in six markets for $505 million, while also paying $75 million for WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York City. The other stations are KASW, the CW affiliate in Phoenix; WSFL, the CW affiliate in Miami-Fort Lauderdale; KSTU, the Fox affiliate in Salt Lake City; WTKR, the CBS affiliate, and WGNT, the CW affiliate in Norfolk, Va.; WTVR, the CBS affiliate in Richmond, Va.; and WXMI, the Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Scripps now has nine markets were it operates more than one station. These are also the first stations for Scripps in Virginia and Utah.
The company says that it will finance the transaction with a combination of term loans and unsecured debt. In addition, it is giving Nexstar the option to buy back WPIX from March 31, 2020, through the end of 2021.
The deal is set to close at the same time as the Nexstar-Tribune merger.
“This acquisition represents another step in our plan to improve the depth, reach and durability of our broadcast television station portfolio while adding nicely to the company’s free cash flow operation,” said Adam Symson, president and CEO of Scripps, in the announcement.