News Corp. has announced it will sell nine of its Fox owned-and-operated stations in these markets: Cleveland (WJW), Denver (KDVR), St. Louis (KTVI), Kansas City (WDAF), Milwaukee (WITI), Salt Lake City (KSTU), Birmingham (WBRC), Memphis (WHBQ), and Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point (WGHP).
This is part of a trend in which major networks are selling their O&Os in smaller markets. CBS and NBC have sold stations in the last two years.
It appears the stations are stand-alone markets, and not in duopolies or close clusters. For example, WJW is on the list because it’s a stand alone (no duopoly) and Fox does not own anther station in Ohio.
However, Fox’s station in Austin is not on the list. Fox owns three other stations in Texas, including two in Dallas. (CBS recently sold its Austin TV station.)
Fox’s station in Gainesvile, Fla. isn’t on the list either. Fox owns two stations in nearby Orlando and one in Tampa.
Fox owns two stations in Missouri, in Kansas City and St. Louis, but both are far apart, at opposite ends of the state. There is no Fox duopoly in either market.
This sale will leave Fox with 26 stations, with duopolies in nine markets, including Chicago.