Could Reno 'Conversations' Lead to Next Sinclair Deal?

Will Sinclair’s next acquisition be KRNV Reno? Sources say Sinclair has signed a letter of intent to acquire the NBC affiliate in DMA No. 108, which is owned by Intermountain West.

Intermountain West and its patriarch, Jim Rogers, have been in sell mode. In recent months, he’s agreed to sell KYMA Yuma (Ariz.) and Idaho’s KPVI Pocatello and KXTF Twin Falls, but told B&C recently he has no plans in the near term to sell his remaining stations, which includes KSNV Las Vegas, another NBC affiliate. “What would I do all day?”he said.

Contacted Monday, Rogers said there was no contract with Sinclair for the Reno station, but did not deny that there are some discussions going on. “People pass by all the time and make a pass at me,” he said. “People inquire, and one of those that’s capable of buying it called me.”

Calls to Sinclair were not returned at presstime.

Ralph Toddre, president and COO of Intermountain, downplayed activity in Reno too. “We’re nowhere near being close to any agreement,” he said. “It’s just conversations.”

A good source tells me Reno is just the appetizer–that Sinclair wants a major news station in Las Vegas. Toddre says it’s “absolutely not” KSNV. Of course, there’s also KLAS, the lone station in the Landmark group. Landmark has expressed its desire to sell KLAS when Vegas is back on its feet economically, and it can get full value for the station.

Sinclair does own KVMY-KVCW, a MyNet-CW duo in Vegas, so it would have to move some pieces around if it is to do a deal in that market.

We’ll see how it plays out.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.