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Post-Newsweek: No Comment on WTVJ Acquisition

NBC Universal is poised to sell its Miami station, WTVJ-TV, to Post-Newsweek Stations, which already owns the ABC affiliate in the same market, according to a Tuesday story published in the Miami Herald.

If the newspaper account is true, the unusual combination of two major market affiliates would seem to be possible because of the unusually large Spanish-speaking population in southern Florida. Miami, the 16th largest TV market, is competitive given the fact that its large Hispanic population gravitates toward Spanish-language stations.

A Federal Communications Commission rule allows a station to buy another station in the same market if "at least one of the stations in the combination is not ranked among the top four stations in terms of audience share," which in most markets, if not all of them, would prohibit a major affiliated station from buying another one.

But according to the Herald,WTVJ is now rated sixth in total-day Nielsen ratings, behind Spanish-speaking Univision and Telemundo outlets.

NBCU executives declined comment and Post-Newsweek executives were not available for comment.

The report suggested a price of $350 million-$400 million and that NBCU will keep Telemundo outlet WSCV.

Post-Newsweek owns ABC affiliate WPLG, which is building a new $30 million headquarters that would house both stations, according to the Herald.

NBCU put the station up for sale earlier this year, and cash from any sale would offset its pending acquisition of The Weather Channel with two private-equity firms.

In March, NBCU announced that it planned to sell TV stations in Miami and Hartford, Conn.

As of Wednesday morning, NBC did not comment on the reported sale, while a Post-Newsweek spokesperson said, “The Washington Post never comments on possible business transactions until they are completed.” Asked if a deal was in the works, the spokesperson said nothing had been completed.