Monday, January 23, 2017

FCC Okays NexStar, Media General Merger

The FCC's Media Bureau has approved the Nexstar-Media General merger. That came in an order published on the FCC website Wednesday.

According to Broadcasting&Cable, both broadcasters had asked the FCC to waive its rule preventing a decision on the deal while the spectrum auction was still in progress.

The commission agreed and at the same time approved the merger.

Citing the proposed spin-offs to make the merger comply with local and national ownership rules, the FCC concluded that the merger is OK, and it would waive the prohibition on completing the deal during the auction.

Among the public interest benefits the Media Bureau included Nexstar viewers' access to Media General's D.C. news bureau and the establishment of state news bureaus. It gave "minimal weight" to cost savings and efficiencies or assertions that the deal would result in lower programming costs or more diverse programming.

Per DOJ, Nexstar is selling WBAY Green Bay to Gray Television; WSLS Roanoke-Lynchburg to Graham Holdings; KADN and KLAF-LD Lafayette to Bayou City Broadcasting; WTHI Terre Haute to USA Television MidAmerica Holdings; WFFT Fort Wayne to USA Television; and KWQC Quad Cities to Gray.

In addition, to comply with the FCC's national audience reach cap (39%), Nexstar and Media General have also agreed to divest KREG-TV Denver (Nexstar), WCWJ Jacksonville (Nexstar), KIMT Rochester, Minn. (Media General), WLFI-TV Lafayette, Ind. (Media General); and KQTV St. Joseph, Mo. (Nexstar).

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