Reports of WVUE's Sale To Raycom are Greatly Exaggerated

Strange story coming out of NOLA, where WDSU has reported that Raycom is “closing in on a deal” to acquire WVUE, the independently owned Fox affiliate.

The report is incorrect, a spokesman for the owner, Tom Benson, tells the Times-Picayune.

“There is no sale pending,” said Greg Bensel, senior vice president of communications for the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. “The station is not for sale.”

Benson owns the Saints and Louisiana Media Company LLC, which holds WVUE.

Reports the Times-Picayune:

The report was based on a brief item in the October edition of “The Advisor,” a publication of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which trumpets the “proposed purchase” of WVUE by Raycom Media, described in the item as “one of RSA’s largest investments.”

“The Advisor” reported the sale price as $55.6 million; Benson bought WVUE in 2008 for $41 million.

“There’s nothing to it,” adds Bensel. “Mr. Benson plans to keep Fox locally owned in New Orleans.”

Michael Malone

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.