Nexstar Identifies Where it Will Divest to Acquire Tribune

Nexstar has identified three stations it plans to sell and 11 other markets where it intends to divest stations so that its acquisition of Tribune Media can obtain regulatory approvals.

The first stations going on the block are WTKR-TV, Norfolk, Va.; WGNT-TV, Portsmouth, Va,; and WNEP-TV, Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pa., according to a filing with the FCC that was made public Tuesday following the reopening of the Federal government.

According to filing the markets where Nexstar identifies overlaps where it can’t own both Tribune and Nexstar stations because of local ownership rules are: Davenport, Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa; Ft. Smith, Ark,; Grand Rapids, Mich,; Harrisburg, Pa.; Hartford, Conn,; Huntsville, Ala.; Indianapolis, In.; Memphis, Tenn.; Richmond, Va. and Salt Lake City, Utah.

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The filing does not indicate which station or stations in those overlapping markets will be sold.

Nexstar also said in the filing that there will be other stations sold to conform to the government national ownership cap, but those stations and markets have not yet been identified.

In a memo to employees, Peter Kern, CEO of Tribune, said “we will get more clarity in the next several weeks about the specific divestitures Nexstar intends to make.”

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"By now, most of you have worked through these announcements before. Although they can be distracting and even unsettling, you have consistently performed at a high level to serve our viewers, advertisers and the community,” Kern said. “By doing so, you have positioned yourselves and the company for continued success. Remember that regardless of who the owner is, every TV station needs talented, experienced, and dedicated people operating it. Keep performing the way you always have, and the value of your work will speak for itself.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.