The chairs on the deck of the nation’s broadcasting ship continue to be shuffled around, with the value of U.S. TV- and radio-station mergers and acquisitions in the recently ended fourth quarter totaling $900 million ― with the top deal involving two Seattle TV stations.
The largest TV deal of the quarter, according to Kagan, a media research group that is part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, was announced this past November when Fox Corp. agreed to pay $352 million to acquire two Seattle TV stations and one in Milwaukee from Nexstar Media Group Inc. As part of the deal, Nexstar assumed ownership of two Fox-owned TV stations in the Charlotte, North Carolina, market, for $45 million.
The two Seattle stations acquired by Fox were KCPQ-TV (Q13), already a Fox affiliate; and KZJO-TV (virtual channel 22 and home to JOEtv) ― which is an affiliate of Fox-owned MyNetworkTV. WITI-TV, a Fox affiliate in Milwaukee, also was part of the deal.
“This acquisition expands the reach of one of Fox’s core assets, our television stations portfolio, and further strengthens what is already a highly profitable and cash generative business,” said Fox executive chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch. “The Seattle and Milwaukee markets both overlap with key sports markets, creating significant opportunities for growth and collaboration.”
Nexstar originally assumed ownership of the Seattle and Milwaukee TV stations as part of its $7.2 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, which closed in September of last year.