Mission Broadcasting has exercised an option to acquire WPIX-TV, New York.
The option was granted to Nexstar Media Group when it sold eight stations to Scripps in order to comply with federal regulation after Nexstar bought Tribune Media. Nexstar transferred the option to require WPIX to Mission, according to Scripps.
Mission will pay $75 million, plus interest accrued between Sept. 19, when it purchased the station and the time Mission’s purchase closes, which is expected later this year.
“Throughout its 20-plus years in the local television broadcasting business, Mission Broadcasting’s goal has been to broaden its reach, diversify its network affiliations, extend the impact of female and minority station ownership to new markets across the United States, and most important, serve the local communities in which we operate,” said Dennis Thatcher, President of Mission Broadcasting. “Our acquisition of WPIX-TV meets all of these strategic objectives. We look forward to working closely with Scripps in obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals and to closing this transaction as soon as possible.”
Scripps, which also announced the sale of its Stitcher podcast unit, said it will use the cash from both deals to pay down debt.
After the transaction, Scripps will remain the fourth-largest independent station owner with 59 stations in 41 markets, the company said.
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