Ion Media has a deal in place to acquire WQEX Pittsburgh from the public broadcaster WQED Multimedia. The price is $3 million, according to FCC filings. The deal is subject to regulatory approval, which is expected to occur in the coming months.
WQEX airs ShopNBC seven days a week, with a handful of children's programs mixed in.
Ion says it will change the call letters to WINP and switch the programming to a "vibrant entertainment destination for families."
"Ion has experienced success in recent years by re-energizing and re-imagining broadcast stations as a way to bring entertainment and education to all families and age groups across the country," says Ion Media Networks President/CEO Brandon Burgess. "We look forward to better serving the local Pittsburgh community with Ion's broad spectrum of high quality and affordable programming, with something for everyone in the family."
Pittsburgh-based WQED Multimedia "creates, produces and distributes quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within its community and around the world," according to its Website.
Privately-held Ion has a massive 64% coverage footprint in the U.S., airing syndicated shows such as Without a Trace and Criminal Minds, and vintage films such as surf drama Point Break.
Ion emerged from bankruptcy late in 2009, at which point Burgess said the network and station group were poised to grow. Its local outlets include WPXN New York and KPXN Los Angeles.
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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.