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CircleSeven

Nexstar to acquire Tribune

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15 hours ago, CircleSeven said:

On page 12 of powerpoint presentation it said divestitures of "stations and non-core assets". My guess would be the "non-core" means assets like their real estate assets (if you look at p.8). .

I thought they already sold the Tribune Tower & the Channel 9 building. They must have some other buildings they have yet to sell.

The ComCorp deal lasted about twenty months because one part of the deal would've had Nexstar operating a third station (remember Rocky Creek?) and the DOJ wasn't having that. So they had to amend the application and sold that Evansville station to a real third party.

The MG deal lasted about year. And Nexstar made nothing but clean divestitures (not just in-market, but to comply with the 39% cap). That deal would've been completed before the new year (2017), if they didn't have that spectrum auction (The DOJ signed off on the deal that fall), plus they had to ask the FCC to approve the deal while the auction process was still going.

I would expect Nexstar to make similar moves like the MG deal, and not playing "shell games" like Sinclair.

The reason MG-Nexstar took a year was because of the spectrum auction. IIRC, the divestitures for that were announced very early on. Even though that was a big merger it was fairly cut-and-dry.

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I think a little clarity about Washington/Hagerstown, and WDCA and WDVM is in order.

Hagerstown, Maryland is 70 miles from Washington. It is a community of about 40,000 people. WDVM (formerly WHAG) is, in every way, a small market station. Suggesting it could cover Washington or supply a newscast for DC is unrealistic. When the station launched 40-some years ago, it was an NBC affiliate in a region that had no other stations. Western Maryland had cable decades before the rest of the country had ever heard of cable, bringing in a few DC and Baltimore stations. WHAG was the first regional station, and still, if you lived beyond the Hagerstown city line, you needed cable to see it.

When WHAG launched, the Hagerstown market was in the Glendive, Montana neighborhood of the market list. If I remember correctly, Hagerstown was absorbed into the DC market, primarily to force cable companies in the western counties of Maryland and nearby counties in Pennsylvania and Virginia to carry it in addition to, or instead of WRC out of Washington. Other than that, there is absolutely nothing that justifies Hagerstown being in the DC market. Now that WDVM is an independent, that’s even more true. There doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason to still consider Hagerstown part of the DC market, other than it probably boosts ad rates. 

Nexstar might want to divest either WDCA or WDVM. But there isn’t really a good reason they couldn’t keep this “duopoly”, and there’s even less reason why it should be considered one. And, if Nexstar wants a newscast on WDCA, they’d be better off having their Richmond station produce it for them. 

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1 hour ago, channel2 said:

WDCW?

Didn't they try doing news out of Richmond, and fail? Recently?

Yes. Via WTVR. WTVR's own obligations would often have a chance of zonking said newscast, I remember more than one case that severe weather or breaking news in Richmond led to WDCW's news being canceled for the night.

Nexstar obviously wants WDVM to be something, they wouldn't have gotten back on FiOS and have gotten on some Comcast systems (Montgomery County, Alexandria, Arlington, Herndon/Reston) and have opened bureaus for Fairfax and Montgomery counties if they weren't. This could only help WDVM, especially in terms of carriage (Comcast in DC/Prince George's/Prince William/Loudoun counties, Directv, RCN) and in terms of program inventory given how WDVM resorts to blocks of H&I as filler seeing how their syndicated inventory is pretty much The Doctors and assorted Entertainment Studios filler.

The carriage situation of then-WHAG wasn't as dire as you speak of. I know Cumberland (50 miles west of Hagerstown, roughly equidistant to DC, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh) dropped WRC for WHAG as soon as WHAG signed on and two years later still hasn't added WRC (their sole NBC is WJAC, added in the 90s).

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2 hours ago, MetroCity said:

I think a little clarity about Washington/Hagerstown, and WDCA and WDVM is in order.

Hagerstown, Maryland is 70 miles from Washington. It is a community of about 40,000 people. WDVM (formerly WHAG) is, in every way, a small market station. Suggesting it could cover Washington or supply a newscast for DC is unrealistic. When the station launched 40-some years ago, it was an NBC affiliate in a region that had no other stations. Western Maryland had cable decades before the rest of the country had ever heard of cable, bringing in a few DC and Baltimore stations. WHAG was the first regional station, and still, if you lived beyond the Hagerstown city line, you needed cable to see it.

When WHAG launched, the Hagerstown market was in the Glendive, Montana neighborhood of the market list. If I remember correctly, Hagerstown was absorbed into the DC market, primarily to force cable companies in the western counties of Maryland and nearby counties in Pennsylvania and Virginia to carry it in addition to, or instead of WRC out of Washington. Other than that, there is absolutely nothing that justifies Hagerstown being in the DC market. Now that WDVM is an independent, that’s even more true. There doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason to still consider Hagerstown part of the DC market, other than it probably boosts ad rates.  

If anything, having Hagerstown be lumped in with the Washington, DC market hurt then-WHAG, as it gave NBC full motive to disaffiliate from the station. (It would have happened anyway, as seen in Elko, NV and Atlantic City, but this was without a doubt.)

Nexstar would probably make sure that the markets aren't separated, as they can say that WHAG is a news-intensive independent in a top-10 market, even as that claim stretches the truth to its' limits. WDVM isn't WGN-TV, nor is it KRON, for goodness sakes.

2 hours ago, MetroCity said:

Nexstar might want to divest either WDCA or WDVM. But there isn’t really a good reason they couldn’t keep this “duopoly”, and there’s even less reason why it should be considered one. And, if Nexstar wants a newscast on WDCA, they’d be better off having their Richmond station produce it for them. 

WDCW could farm out their news to WUSA or WRC, and it would fare better than another attempt by WTVR (or WRIC).

After all, WPVI produces a 10pm newscast for WPHL, and that arrangement benefits both stations.

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2 hours ago, scrabbleship said:

Yes. Via WTVR. WTVR's own obligations would often have a chance of zonking said newscast, I remember more than one case that severe weather or breaking news in Richmond led to WDCW's news being canceled for the night.

Nexstar obviously wants WDVM to be something, they wouldn't have gotten back on FiOS and have gotten on some Comcast systems (Montgomery County, Alexandria, Arlington, Herndon/Reston) and have opened bureaus for Fairfax and Montgomery counties if they weren't. This could only help WDVM, especially in terms of carriage (Comcast in DC/Prince George's/Prince William/Loudoun counties, Directv, RCN) and in terms of program inventory given how WDVM resorts to blocks of H&I as filler seeing how their syndicated inventory is pretty much The Doctors and assorted Entertainment Studios filler.

The carriage situation of then-WHAG wasn't as dire as you speak of. I know Cumberland (50 miles west of Hagerstown, roughly equidistant to DC, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh) dropped WRC for WHAG as soon as WHAG signed on and two years later still hasn't added WRC (their sole NBC is WJAC, added in the 90s).

 

1 hour ago, Myron Falwell said:

If anything, having Hagerstown be lumped in with the Washington, DC market hurt then-WHAG, as it gave NBC full motive to disaffiliate from the station. (It would have happened anyway, as seen in Elko, NV and Atlantic City, but this was without a doubt.)

Nexstar would probably make sure that the markets aren't separated, as they can say that WHAG is a news-intensive independent in a top-10 market, even as that claim stretches the truth to its' limits. WDVM isn't WGN-TV, nor is it KRON, for goodness sakes.

WDCW could farm out their news to WUSA or WRC, and it would fare better than another attempt by WTVR (or WRIC).

After all, WPVI produces a 10pm newscast for WPHL, and that arrangement benefits both stations.

It’s beyond me why it became a seperate market and whose idea was it.  The mountains block any chance of a WRC or the WHAG signal reaching either community. 

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1 hour ago, mre29 said:

So, which market should Hagerstown be part of?

I'd have no idea. Hagerstown is just too close to DC, far away from every other market and too small of a city to sustain a separate market designation that's not in the upper 100s.

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1 hour ago, Myron Falwell said:

I'd have no idea. Hagerstown is just too close to DC, far away from every other market and too small of a city to sustain a separate market designation that's not in the upper 100s.

I have no idea how many homes but according to RabbitEars ranking it’s 119 (they don’t use Nielsen) and reaches 2.6 million people. And it’s signal reaches four states.  

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2 hours ago, Myron Falwell said:

I'd have no idea. Hagerstown is just too close to DC, far away from every other market and too small of a city to sustain a separate market designation that's not in the upper 100s.

How fall down does the Harrisburg stations reach Hagerstown and surrounding areas vs the D.C. stations? Either way, with this deal, do not expect Hagerstown to be it's own DMA after the deal is completed

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2 hours ago, ColtFromGulfcoast said:

Harrisonburg. It makes sense if you think about it.

Harrisonburg is nearly twice the distance from Hagerstown than DC, Baltimore, even Harrisburg. Such a concept is totally not feasible.

If Harrisonburg was going to be linked to any other market, it would've been Charlottesville before Gray began filling out both markets.

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So i guess this means most of the Tribune Stations are going to end up with Linear Drift Graphics with Nexstar's End Tag followed by the station's US state when you think about it.

Edited by Darius22
more detail on possibility.
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1 minute ago, Darius22 said:

So i guess this means most of the Tribune Stations are going to end up with Linear Drift Graphics when you think about it.

Can we PLEASE stop this nonsense every time a merger gets announced? It's pointless. It will be YEARS before they get around to actually changing graphics. There are 10000 possibilities for how Nexstar will handle the graphics for the ex-Tribune stations, which could include absorbing Tribune Creative.

 

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33 minutes ago, Weeters said:

Can we PLEASE stop this nonsense every time a merger gets announced? It's pointless. It will be YEARS before they get around to actually changing graphics. There are 10000 possibilities for how Nexstar will handle the graphics for the ex-Tribune stations, which could include absorbing Tribune Creative.

 

The task of consolidating Tribune and Nexstar will be a mammoth one. This will take a while.

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is sort of ground zero for this merger.  It shows that Nexstar has traded up before.  Their first station was WYOU.  They got spun off to Mission when they acquired WBRE. 

Could they dump the duo for the chance to own the 800 ton gorilla in the market WNEP?

 

Lots of damage could be done simply by Nexstar trading up to the better station, especially if they have been run (into the ground) under their ownership.  Of course, this all depends on how much of Tribune lives on post-merger.  There's glimmers of hope when Gray takes over Raycom, but it could be like Heathens of Hunt Valley lighting a match on whatever they acquire just because its theirs now....

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35 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is sort of ground zero for this merger.  It shows that Nexstar has traded up before.  Their first station was WYOU.  They got spun off to Mission when they acquired WBRE. 

Could they dump the duo for the chance to own the 800 ton gorilla in the market WNEP?

 

Lots of damage could be done simply by Nexstar trading up to the better station, especially if they have been run (into the ground) under their ownership.  Of course, this all depends on how much of Tribune lives on post-merger.  There's glimmers of hope when Gray takes over Raycom, but it could be like Heathens of Hunt Valley lighting a match on whatever they acquire just because its theirs now....

I believe if WYOU/WBRE are spun off, they have to be sent to separate companies as it is a grandfathered LMA. That would create additional hurdles.

Edited by GoldenShine9

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55 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is sort of ground zero for this merger.  It shows that Nexstar has traded up before.  Their first station was WYOU.  They got spun off to Mission when they acquired WBRE. 

Could they dump the duo for the chance to own the 800 ton gorilla in the market WNEP?

 

Lots of damage could be done simply by Nexstar trading up to the better station, especially if they have been run (into the ground) under their ownership.  Of course, this all depends on how much of Tribune lives on post-merger.  There's glimmers of hope when Gray takes over Raycom, but it could be like Heathens of Hunt Valley lighting a match on whatever they acquire just because its theirs now....

If you've noticed, Nexstar hasn't really messed around a whole lot on the ex-Media General/LIN stations, I'll give you one example and that's WOOD-TV. Nexstar could've chosen to phase out "Primetime News" in favor of the packages that legacy Nexstar NBC affiliates use (same with the graphics). They could've also made WOOD drop the "24-Hour News 8" branding in favor of "Local 8" as well as woodtv.com for mywestmichigan.com or whatever Nexstar uses, I could go on and on but my point being is that Nexstar has left WOOD (and most of the ex-Media General and LIN stations) alone enough to not ruin the quality of the news product and presentation. If Nexstar can do like what they've done with the Media General and LIN stations they can do the same with Tribune stations by letting the Big Three stations be what they've always been (same for the ex-Local TV stations) and if Nexstar can leave the Tribune stations they'll acquire well enough alone after they close the deal, you can expect Media General-like results to come from Nexstar.

 

One other thing, the biggest reason why Nexstar has left the Media General (and LIN) alone is because they didn't really mess around with their graphics hub after they absorbed the MG/LIN stations

Edited by oknewsguy
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10 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

If you've noticed, Nexstar hasn't really messed around a whole lot on the ex-Media General/LIN stations, I'll give you one example and that's WOOD-TV. Nexstar could've chosen to phase out "Primetime News" in favor of the packages that legacy Nexstar NBC affiliates use (same with the graphics). They could've also made WOOD drop the "24-Hour News 8" branding in favor of "Local 8" as well as woodtv.com for mywestmichigan.com or whatever Nexstar uses, I could go on and on but my point being is that Nexstar has left WOOD (and most of the ex-Media General and LIN stations) alone enough to not ruin the quality of the news product and presentation. If Nexstar can do like what they've done with the Media General and LIN stations they can do the same with Tribune stations by letting the Big Three stations be what they've always been (same for the ex-Local TV stations) and if Nexstar can leave the Tribune stations they'll acquire well enough alone after they close the deal, you can expect Media General-like results to come from Nexstar.

 

One other thing, the biggest reason why Nexstar has left the Media General (and LIN) alone is because they didn't really mess around with their graphics hub after they absorbed the MG/LIN stations

Some of the legacy Nexstar stations have been phasing out those domains as well. As for Tribune Digital, that might just shut down; unlike when they acquired Media General, this is a straight purchase (no Tribune bosses come along) while parts of Media General still sit in the Nexstar ownership structure.

Edited by GoldenShine9
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5 minutes ago, GoldenShine9 said:

Some of the legacy Nexstar stations have been phasing out those domains as well. As for Tribune Digital, that might just shut down; unlike when they acquired Media General, this is a straight purchase (no Tribune bosses come along) while parts of Media General still sit in the Nexstar ownership structure.

I think either way the Media General deal has changed Nexstar for the better, this isn't the Nexstar that we used to all hate (and I also expect the Tribune influence to make Nexstar even better too) it's a win-win for Nexstar no matter how you slice it. Translation: Stations like KFOR is about to start acting like say, for example, KXAN (or any Media General/LIN station you can throw at)

Edited by oknewsguy
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