LIN Buys Pair of Acme Stations

LIN Media has acquired Acme Communications stations WIWB Green Bay and WBDT Dayton for a combined $11.5 million. Acme has been looking to deal its local assets for some time.

LIN and Acme entered a services agreement in select markets earlier this summer; part of the deal gave LIN the right to acquire the stations. According to a statement from Acme, "LIN has assigned its rights to acquire certain assets of WBDT to WBDT Television (WT)...It is expected that applications to assign the stations' FCC licenses to LIN and WT, respectively, will be filed with the Federal Communications Commission within the next three weeks and that a failing station waiver will be requested of the FCC in connection with the WIWB assignment."

In July, LIN Executive VP Scott Blumenthal suggested he might be interested in adding some Acme stations to the group. "We're pleased with the relationship that's just been established, and we'll go one step at a time," Blumenthal said. "We'll see what the market is like."

Acme expects FCC approval by the end of 2010 or early 2011.

Acme President/CEO Doug Gealy said he was "delighted" that LIN has exercised its option to buy. "The proposed transactions conform with Acme's plans for the ultimate disposition of all its stations and will ultimately redound to the benefit of our shareholders," said Gealy. "Upon the completion of these two transactions, and upon our sale of any LIN stock offered as part of the consideration, we plan to distribute any excess cash to our shareholders. In the meantime, we continue to pursue other opportunities to monetize our remaining assets."

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.