NBC selling two stations


NEW YORK -- NBC Universal is putting two TV stations, WTMJ in Miami and WVIT in Hartford, Conn., on the block.

The move comes amid major changes in the TV stations business and the shedding of smaller markets by big media companies like Fox and CBS. In an e-mail to station group employees Wednesday, NBC Local Media President John Wallace said that the company was focusing on its stations in the top 10 markets and its digital business.

Employees of the stations were being told today. WTVJ has been owned by NBC since 1987; WVIT was purchased by NBC in the 1950s. There are no details on the possible sale yet although the other half of NBC's duopoly in Miami, a Telemundo station, would not be affected.

Wallace said that changes were being made to the stations group, which in November renamed itself NBC Local Media and has recently bought LX.TV and Skycastle Entertainment and boosted its out-of-home business.

"These growth investments are an important part of ensuring our long-term viability," Wallace wrote. "They also need to be self-funded. As a result, we've taken a hard look at our portfolio and made some difficult decisions about what's best for our business going forward."

When the sale is completed, it will leave eight stations owned by NBC Local Media. Seven of them will be in major markets like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco while the eighth station, a joint venture in San Diego, will remain.