Nexstar Broadcasting Buys TV Stations From Newport

Newport Television is divesting its TV station assets in deals that will bring in more than a billion dollars. The company is also selling to Sinclair and Cox.

Nexstar Broadcasting and Mission Broadcasting have acquired 12 TV stations and digital sub-channels in eight markets from Newport Television for $285.5 million.

The deal will bolster Nexstar's portfolio to 67 stations in 40 markets,, which the company says will allow it to reach approximately 11.4 percent of all U.S. television households.

Nexstar will be acquiring ABC and CW affiliates in Salt Lake City, Utah and Memphis, Tennessee; an ABC affiliate in Syracuse, New York; NBC and ABC affiliates in Binghamton, New York; an NBC affiliate in Elmira, New York; a Fox affiliate in Jackson, Tennessee; and an ABC affiliate in Watertown, New York.

Mission will also be acquiring Fox and CW affiliates in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The twelve Newport stations and digital assets are expected by the company to contribute about $110 million in net revenue.

"The acquisition significantly expands our revenue and operating base with stations where we can quickly apply our operating and management disciplines to meaningfully improve their performance which we believe will drive strong cash flow growth," said Perry A. Sook, chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar in a statement.

The company also announced that it and Mission have secured $645 million in new loans and credits to fund the transaction, refinance existing credit facilities, and repurchase subordinated loans.

As for Newport, the deal is among three announced today that will sell a total of 22 stations. Besides Nexstar, the company is also six stations (in San Antonio, Harrisburg, Cincinnati, Mobile, and Wichita) to Sinclair Broadcasting and four stations (in Jacksonville and Tulsa) to Cox Media Group. The company is also exploring sales of its five remaining stations (in  Bakersfield, Fresno, Rochester, Albany, and Eugene, Oregon).

In total, the deals will bring Newport parent Providence Equity Partners just over $1 billion.

"These divestitures are the result of a thoughtful strategic review process conducted by the Board to maximize value at Newport, and we believe these high quality stations will have a bright future with their new owners," says Sandy DiPasquale, president and CEO of Newport.

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