PLAINS TWP. — Three local television stations are among a group of eight New Age Media stations Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. announced Wednesday it would purchase for $90 million.
Sinclair will buy local stations WOLF, a Fox affiliate; WQMY, a MY Network affiliate; and WSWB, a CW affiliate, in addition to five Florida-based television stations.
Messages left with Jon Cadman, the general manager of the local trio of stations, and John Parente, the chairman and chief executive officer of New Age Media, were not returned Wednesday. The company is based on Route 315 in Plains Township. The company still owns three TV stations in Chattanooga, Tenn.
According to Baltimore-based Sinclair, the transaction is expected to be finalized later this year or early next year and is pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission and antitrust clearance, as applicable. In addition to the purchase, Sinclair also announced it will then turn around and sell half of the newly acquired stations.
Three stations, including WSWB, will be sold to Cunningham Broadcast Corp. A fourth, WTLF, a CW affiliate in Tallahassee, Fla., will be sold to Deerfield Media Inc. The purchase price for those deals was not disclosed.
“We are excited to be adding the New Age stations to our portfolio, growing our presence in Pennsylvania and Florida, and further diversifying our affiliation mix,” said David Smith, president and chief executive officer of Sinclair. “Through each acquisition we continue to capture operating efficiencies and scale, as well as increase our cash flow for ongoing opportunities.”
With the latest purchase, the company — which is already the largest owner of television stations in the country — will own and operate, program or provide sales services to 162 television stations in 77 markets. Sinclair’s television group will reach approximately 38.7 percent of U.S. television households and will be affiliated with all major networks. Sinclair’s television portfolio will include 38 FOX stations, 29 ABC, 26 CBS, 25 CW, 22 MNT, 15 NBC, 5 Univision, one Azteca and one independent station.
In addition to the three local stations acquired by Sinclair, the other stations included in the deal are: WTLH, a FOX affiliate in Tallahassee, Fla.; WTLF, a CW affiliate in Tallahassee; WGFL, a CBS affiliate in Gainesville, Fla.; WNBW, a NBC affiliate in Gainesville, Fla.; and WMYG-LP, a My Network TV affiliate in Gainesville. Of the three television markets involved in the deal, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market is the largest as it ranks 54th in the nation by population.