NBC Universal to Sell LA Station KWHY-TV to Meruelo
NEW YORK - NBC Universal has reached an agreement to sell independent TV station KWHY-TV in LA to the holding and investment firm Meruelo Group.
Financial terms weren't disclosed. The acquisition is subject to approval by the FCC.
NBC Uni last year said it would sell the station, while keeping its other two LA stations - KNBC-TV and Telemundo station KVEA-TV. Under FCC rules, companies are only allowed to own two stations in a single market, even though NBC Uni had a temporary waiver to operate all three.
NBC Uni had acquired KVEA and KWHY as part of the 2002 transaction that gave it control of Telemundo Communications Group.
Comcast is expected to close its acquisition of a 51 percent stake in NBC Uni on Friday. The KWHY sale agreement is another step towards closing the transaction. Earlier on Wednesday, Vivendi said it has sold its remaining stake in NBC Uni.
“As one of the oldest independent Spanish-language television stations in the U.S., KWHY is a station with a great history, and an ongoing mission to serve a vibrant and growing community,” said Meruelo Group founder and CEO Alex Meruelo.
His firm also has interests in such businesses as the La Pizza Loca restaurant chain, Commercial Bank of California and Southern California utility construction firms.
Bahia Honda, a divestiture trust, will operate the station until the deal closes.
The Meruelo Group’s purchase of KWHY is expected to be completed by mid-year. The sale meets the diversity commitment made by NBC Uni during the regulatory review of the Comcast deal to try to sell the station to a minority-controlled group.