TVNewscheck Exclusive

Big Deals = Big Changes In Station Groups

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BIA/Kelsey ranks Mission Broadcasting and stations owned by Stephen Mumblow as distinct groups with distinct ownership. But because they function essentially as subsidiaries of Sinclair, TVNewsCheck lumps their revenues together.

The group station coverage figures and numbers of stations were also provided by BIA/Kelsey. The number of stations includes full-power and low-power stations as well as repeater stations.

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New York
2013 Revenue: $1.7 billion
Stations: 29 in 18 markets
Coverage: 37.3%
Ownership: 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA)
Key executives: Rupert Murdoch, chairman-CEO, 21st Century Fox; Chase Carey, president-COO, 21st Century Fox; Roger Ailes, chairman-CEO, Fox News/chairman, Fox Television Stations; Jack Abernethy, CEO, Fox Television Stations; and Dennis Swanson, president, station operations, Fox Television Stations.

What’s up: As part of News Corp. spinoff last year that created 21st Century Fox, the new company’s syndication arm, Twentieth Television, was moved out of the TV station group and became a division of the television production studio, Twentieth Century Fox Television. “This reorganization underscores the changing landscape of the syndication TV business, more closely aligning the distribution of our shows with our content creators,” said Chase Carey, COO of 21st Century Fox.

Fox-owned WWOR New York wanted to replace its traditional 10 p.m. news with something different. Chasing New Jersey, which debuted last July, certainly fits the bill. The show starts with the “Wrap," a roundup of everything from what the New York Post and NBC Nightly News are reporting to what’s “On the Blogs” and “Geek Stuff." If you’re looking for pop culture, with tomorrow’s weather thrown in, it’s there. The guts of the show are the enterprise stories from reporters (called “chasers”) “focusing on all things New Jersey." They have all the makings of viable, albeit atypical, news stories.

In the spirit of Chasing New Jersey — although in a decidedly slower Southern style — Fox launched a second unconventional, young-skewing newscast in January, this time on its WJZY Charlotte, N.C. Airing at 10 p.m., My Fox Carolinas News @10 is informal with no highly stylized set or anchor desk. Instead, the "senior digital journalist" — elsewhere known as an anchor — orchestrates the newscast by walking around the newsroom, stopping by reporters who tell their stories or tease upcoming ones. Sometimes they stand together; sometimes, the reporter sits at his or her desk.

Brand Connections

2013 Revenue: $1.5 billion
Stations: 30 in 18 markets
Coverage: 37.9%
Ownership: CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS)
Key executives: Sumner Redstone, executive chairman, CBS Corp.; Leslie Moonves, president-CEO, CBS Corp.; Peter Dunn, president, CBS Television Stations; Anton Guitano, COO, CBS Local Media; Ezra Kucharz, president, CBS Local Digital Media.

What’s up: In March, Ed Ziskind was named VP of business development and strategic partnerships at the station group. He reports to Amy Scanlan, the station group’s SVP, business development and strategic partnerships, and is responsible for working with the sales teams at the group’s local stations and national sales offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh.

2013 Revenue: $1.34 billion
Stations: 162 in 78
Coverage: 37.8%
Ownership: Sinclair Broadcasting Group Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI)
Key executives: David Smith, president-CEO, Sinclair Broadcast Group; Steven M. Marks, VP-COO, television division; David Amy, EVP-COO; Christopher Ripley, CFO; Barry Faber, EVP-general counsel.

What's up: Since last year’s top 30 ranking, Sinclair has continued its acquisition focus, but has found itself stymied by the FCC’s reluctance to OK some purchases and its adoption of strict new criteria for evaluating shared services agreements (SSAs) in its review of TV station deals.

Last July, Sinclair agreed to buy Allbritton Communications’ seven ABC affiliates for $985 million. The deal also includes NewsChannel 8, a 24-hour cable-satellite news network covering the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

While the addition of ABC affiliate WJLA Washington to Sinclair's portfolio was the highest-profile part of its purchase of Allbritton Communications' TV group, Sinclair CEO David Smith says what he was really after was the local Washington cable channel NewsChannel 8. He plans to combine it with the news resources of Sinclair's 101 news-producing stations to create a national cable news network with "a unique, customized local presence in our markets and the markets of other broadcasters with which we may partner in the future."

At the time of the deal, Sinclair said it expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013. But with the FCC not agreeing to approve the transaction because of various sharing agreements involved, in March of this year, Sinclair proposed dropping the use of sidecars as part of its effort to push its acquisition of Allbritton through the FCC.

Sinclair says it will sell three stations that it now owns — WHP Harrisburg-Lancaster, Pa.; WMMP Charleston, S.C.; and WABM Birmingham, Ala. — to independent third parties. The company assured the FCC it would not enter any operational or financial agreements with any of the buyers.

To facilitate those three station sales since it hopes to close the Allbritton deal by July 27,  Sinclair in April engaged Moelis & Co. as its financial adviser.


Comments (13) -

HopeUMakeit Nickname posted over 2 years ago
lets rank these mergers by how many people got laid off and how conpensation increased for the corporate shirts who dont produce new stories or do not sell ads.
Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
So you and the other comments of this ilk are for Socialism instead of Capitalism on which this Country was built. Good to know.
JamesV Nickname posted over 2 years ago
In what way does HopeUMakeit's comment suggest he/she is for Socialism? It's a fact of life that most mergers such as those discussed in the article result in employee layoffs, increased debt, and rarely any improvement in consumer/customer service. Given the Capitalism supposedly relies on effective competition to achieve its benefits, why do you believe that those opposed to such mergers are socialists or for socialism? Those who really believe in capitalism should want to see effective competition among many players, not reduced competition and fewer people working.
Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
To any reasonable person, they would only need to reread the post "lets rank these mergers by how many people got laid off and how conpensation (sic) increased for the the corporate shirts who dont produce new (sic) stories or do not sell ads." If you are unable to realize that post is anti-capitalism and pro-socialist, then I really cannot help you.
SalesGrrl Nickname posted over 2 years ago
The only founding principles this country had were Deism and that this was a Representative Republic. Socialism and Capitalism are byproducts of a later era, and those ideals were not part of our country's founding. And Socialism, I might add, would oppose mergers and individual ownership of something so important as our public airwaves, and would favor government control, which is not what HopeUMakeit is advocating. Also, true Capitalism would disapprove of the mergers, as the creation of huge media conglomerates would decrease the competition between stations. So really, there is nothing in your comment that is correct, other than your usage of ilk, which is laudable.
Insider Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Your post is so full of flaws in its attempt to twist something around to try and make points it would take a JC 5000 word post to address it all, which I am not inclined to do. 1) The Country's founders believed in a higher being, but one that did not care about us. 2) I never stated that the Country was founded on Capitalism v Socialism. 3) HopeUMakeIt's entire post is based on mergers should be looked at on the effect they have on people's jobs (which as the base principal of the Founding Fathers that "the higher being" did not care about us, and thus goes against that basic concept you seem to be trying to weave into this). 4) The Public Airwaves are the Public Airwaves, despite your assertion of the opposite. The Company pays for the license, which can be revoked, as we have seen in the past. 5) To say that Capitalism would disapprove of mergers is fiction. Monopolies yes, Mergers no. 6) As thus, your entire post is nothing but a group of assorted facts which does nothing to build a case to the point HopeUMakeIt and yourself are trying to establish.
HopeUMakeit Nickname posted a year ago
American History is not your strong point. You expose your shortfall with your capitalism comment.
SCOTT GILBERT posted over 2 years ago
It's what I call Clear Channeling... Buy everything you can and amass a huge amount of debt. Then reduce "synergies" until there's hardly anyone left and quality of the product falls, while telling everyone it's all getting better and better. Then continually kick the can of debt down the road...
boisemedia2 Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Betasso is no longer with Gannett.
CEOBOY711 Nickname posted over 2 years ago
nothing to add to the first two brilliant comments. they are right on the money.
tvspy Nickname posted over 2 years ago
It takes "two to tango". The sellers are unable to continue to run their companies at a profit margin suitable to longterm health. Unfortunately, as in any merger, the areas of duplication that get cut. Peopless Master Control, robotic cameras, and centralized/regional hubbing of traffic/accounting, and MMJ's versus photog's are the reasons people are loosing jobs. Mergers simply speed up the process that would have inevitable happened in the longrun...or why would they be selling?
HopeUMakeit Nickname posted a year ago
"these sellers are unable to run their companies at a profit margin suitable to longterm health" !! what a fricking joke. !! and I know. I am a employee of one of the above referenced companies and we print money like the mint. Your "tango" had nothing whatsoever t do with logic or leverage or clout. It was only about money going to a small group of people who were alredy rich.
JamesV Nickname posted over 2 years ago
Why would they be selling? For the financial benefit that can accrue to shareholders and executives. Simple as that. How much money were the merger entities losing at the time of their mergers? It's a matter of either increasing the value of equity held, cashing out on equity held, increasing the longer term value of equity held, or possibly increasing profit margins. It's all about benefiting those at the top, regardless of the impact on employees, consumers or the public interest.
Marketshare Blog Playout Blog




Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 25, 2016
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