News Corp. had made good on its promise to sell eight of its Fox TV stations, and it did to the newly-formed Local TV group headed by private equity firm Oak Hill Partners for $1.1 billion. The proceeds from the sale gives News Corp. the cash it needs to purchase the Wall Street Journal.
In a separate development, Tribune and Oak Hill have agreed to create a third-party management company that will share administrative duties. Randy Michaels, who was CEO of Local TV, was named Thursday as CEO of Tribune Broadcasting and Tribune Interactive.
The eight stations being sold are: WJW-TV in Cleveland, KDVR-TV in Denver, KTVI in St. Louis, WDAF-TV in Kansas City, WITI-TV in Milwaukee, KSTU in Salt Lake City, WBRC-TV in Birmingham, and WGHP-TV in Greensboro-High Point, N.C.
Six of these stations – WJW, KTVI, WDAF, WITI, WBRC, and WGHP – were former affiliates of the Big Three networks that were involved in the New World-Fox affiliation switch in 1994 and 1995. New World Communications sold all but two of its stations to Fox in 1997.
Local TV launched earlier this year when it made a deal to acquire eight former New York Times Co. stations, including WREG-TV (CBS) in Memphis, KFOR-TV (NBC) in Oklahoma City, WNEP-TV (ABC) in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa., and WQAD-TV (ABC) in Moline, IL.
The transaction leaves Fox with 26 stations (for now – the fate of WHBQ in Memphis is still undetermined), including WFLD-TV and WPWR-TV in Chicago.
updated 10:44 p.m. on 2007-12-22