Monday, December 24, 2007

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Murdoch Deals Some of his TV Empire to Affiliate of the Tribune Company


12-24-2007

BACKGROUND:

Tribune is the major carrier of the CW Network, which is the joint venture of CBS and Time-Warner. Tribune now owns 23 major market TV stations. After this series of deals, Tribune will take over management of 17 more.

Rupert Murdoch will still own 2 TV stations each in L.A., New York City, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Orlando, Washington D.C. and one station in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa, Baltimore, Austin, Memphis, Winston-Salem and Ocala-Gainesville Florida.



News Corp. sells 8 Fox stations

Cory Bergman December 22nd, 2007

News Corp. has sold eight of its 35 stations to Oak Hill Partners, a private equity firm. The stations sold are: WJW (Cleveland), KDVR (Denver), WGHP (Greensboro), KTVI (St. Louis), WDAF (Kansas City), WITI (Milwaukee), KSTU (Salt Lake) and WBRC (Birmingham). Oak Hill already owns 9 other stations under the name Local TV LLC, and the WSJ reports that the day-to-day operations of all the stations may fall to Tribune. After all, Local TV’s top exec was just hired by Sam Zell to take over Tribune’s broadcast and internet operations.

Fox sells eight TV stations to Oak Hill

News Corp. had made good on its promise to sell eight of its Fox TV stations, and it did to the newly-formed Local TV group headed by private equity firm Oak Hill Partners for $1.1 billion. The proceeds from the sale gives News Corp. the cash it needs to purchase the Wall Street Journal.

In a separate development, Tribune and Oak Hill have agreed to create a third-party management company that will share administrative duties. Randy Michaels, who was CEO of Local TV, was named Thursday as CEO of Tribune Broadcasting and Tribune Interactive.

The eight stations being sold are: WJW-TV in Cleveland, KDVR-TV in Denver, KTVI in St. Louis, WDAF-TV in Kansas City, WITI-TV in Milwaukee, KSTU in Salt Lake City, WBRC-TV in Birmingham, and WGHP-TV in Greensboro-High Point, N.C.

Six of these stations - WJW, KTVI, WDAF, WITI, WBRC, and WGHP - were former affiliates of the Big Three networks that were involved in the New World-Fox affiliation switch in 1994 and 1995. New World Communications sold all but two of its stations to Fox in 1997.

Local TV launched earlier this year when it made a deal to acquire eight former New York Times Co. stations, including WREG-TV (CBS) in Memphis, KFOR-TV (NBC) in Oklahoma City, WNEP-TV (ABC) in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa., and WQAD-TV (ABC) in Moline, IL.

The transaction leaves Fox with 26 stations (for now - the fate of WHBQ in Memphis is still undetermined), including WFLD-TV and WPWR-TV in Chicago.

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