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WSJ: Nexstar, Cox, Sinclair Keen on Newport Stations

Newport Television parent Providence Equity Partners is close to a deal to sell 24 of its stations to Nexstar, Cox and Sinclair, reports the Wall Street Journal. The total sale amount would be just over $1 billion, reports the paper.

According to the WSJ, Nexstar would acquire most of the stations, while Providence would be left with five, which it plans to sell in a separate deal later on.

Providence Equity acquired what were the Clear Channel stations, a 56-outlet group, for $1.1 billion in 2008, and christened the batch Newport Television.

Sinclair was in acquisition mode last year, and David Smith, president and CEO, has signaled that he may not be done.  In July 2011, Nexstar hired an advisor to explore a potential sale.

The Newport deal could be announced as early as this week, says the WSJ.

Executives at Sinclair, Nexstar and Cox did not return calls for comment.

Newport Television did not return a call either.