Nexstar Media Group announced that it completed the previously announced purchase and sale agreements with Fox Television Stations, LLC, a subsidiary of Fox Corporation, whereby Nexstar purchased the Charlotte FOX Affiliate WJZY and MyNetworkTV Affiliate WMYT for approximately $45 million in cash, and divested the Seattle FOX Affiliate KCPQ and MyNetworkTV Affiliate KZJO, and the Milwaukee FOX Affiliate WITI, for approximately $350 million in cash. Nexstar intends to use the approximately $240 million of net after tax proceeds from the transactions to reduce borrowings under its credit facilities and for general corporate purposes.
Commenting on the completion of the transactions, Nexstar Media Group Chairman, President and CEO Perry Sook said, “Since completing the Tribune Media transaction we’ve evaluated opportunities to optimize our portfolio with the goals of positioning us in markets that are complementary to existing operations or markets where we believe we can generate greater upside and potentially freeing up some national cap ownership space. The addition of FOX Affiliate WJZY and MyNetworkTV Affiliate WMYT in Charlotte meet all of this criteria as they are geographically complementary to Nexstar’s already strong mid-Atlantic presence in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia while presenting financial and operating synergies with the Company’s station portfolio and digital operations.
“The Charlotte metropolitan area is the fastest growing in the country with a strong and stable economy, affordable housing and a solid job market. We also see upside to the WJZY and WMYT operating results as they benefit from our local news and other programming resources. These transactions also reduce Nexstar’s household reach by approximately 0.7% (reflecting the FCC’s UHF discount) allowing us to pursue other opportunistic transactions that strengthen our local market platform and service to viewers and businesses. In addition to the strategic benefits, the $240 million in net cash proceeds from the Fox transactions will contribute to our ability to significantly de-lever in the near-term and accelerate our path to reducing total net leverage to below 4x by 2020 year-end.”
According to the 2019 Nielsen DMA Rankings, the Charlotte, North Carolina DMA is ranked as the 21st largest U.S. television market, the Seattle-Tacoma, Washington DMA is ranked as the 13th largest U.S. television market, and the Milwaukee, Wisconsin DMA is ranked as the 35th largest U.S. television market. BCS Bureau