Sinclair Broadcast Group to purchase 6 Newport TV stations; Also to purchase assets of WTTA-TV

Sinclair Broadcast Group is to purchase the broadcast assets of six television stations owned and/or operated by Newport Television for $412.5 million.  The six stations are located in five markets and reach 3.0% of the U.S. TV households.  The transaction is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, and antitrust clearance.  The Company anticipates the closing and funding of the acquisition to occur no earlier than December 2012, subject to closing conditions.  Upon closing, the Company expects to finance the $412.5 million purchase price, less a $41.25 million deposit, through cash on hand along with a bank loan and/or by accessing the capital markets.

“David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair, said,  “The Newport stations acquisition is consistent with our focus of adding “big four” affiliates in mid-sized markets and strengthening our in-market positions.  Assuming our ability to create synergistic opportunities and given current market conditions, we believe the stations will be free cash flow accretive and add approximately $55.0 to $60.0 million of pro forma TV operating cash flow, on average, for 2012/2013.

The stations to be acquired are:

  • WKRC (CBS 12) Cincinnati, Ohio (DMA 35)
  • WOAI (NBC 48) San Antonio, Texas (DMA 36)
  • WHP (CBS 21) Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon/York, Pennsylvania (DMA 41)
  • WPMI (NBC 15) and WJTC (IND 45) Mobile, Alabama/Pensacola, Florida (DMA 60)
  • KSAS (FOX 26) Wichita/Hutchinson, Kansas (DMA 67)

Sinclair will also acquire Newport’s rights under the local marketing agreements with WLYH (CW 23) in Harrisburg, PA and KMTW (MNT 35) in Wichita, KS, as well as options to acquire the license assets.

Sinclair  is also purchasing the assets of Bay Television, which owns WTTA-TV (MNT) in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida market, for $40 million.  Bay TV is owned primarily by our controlling shareholders.  Since 1998, Sinclair has operated WTTA pursuant to a local marketing agreement, which will be terminated upon closing. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to approval of the FCC.

USA, Baltimore, MD