Ion Going Private

Ion Media Networks is slated to become privately held after its board approved a deal involving NBC Universal and Citadel Investment Group . The agreement sees NBCU transfer its stake in Ion to Citadel, which will invest $100 million in Ion. NBCU is prohibited from exercising control over Ion because of ownership regulations, but it will retain a minority interest in the broadcaster.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Ion, formerly Paxson, owns 60 television stations and reaches approximately 83% of domestic television households via its stations and cable and satellite agreements. It broadcasts family friendly fare, such as vintage programs like The Wonder Years. Ion unveiled its new slate during an upfront presentation in New York late last week, including several original programs.

Citadel is a billion-dollar private equity group that’s headquartered in Chicago. Ken Griffin founded the firm in 1990.

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.