CINCINNATI — The E.W. Scripps Co. has agreed to acquire two television stations owned by Granite Broadcasting Corp. — Detroit MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYD (Channel 20) and Buffalo, N.Y. ABC affiliate WKBW — for $110 million in cash.
The acquisition of WMYD creates a duopoly with the largest Scripps station, Detroit’s ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). The acquisition of WKBW in Buffalo adds the ABC station in market #52. With this deal, Scripps will own 11 ABC affiliates that will reach nearly 12 percent of U.S. households, the largest reach among station groups.
“These stations in Detroit and Buffalo will contribute strong cash flow to our core business, expand our reach in one of our best markets, and expand our TV footprint in partnership with ABC,” said Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president and CEO. “Owning these stations also allows us to expand our news-gathering reach and our digital business and add more audiences for our original programs Let’s Ask America, The List, and RightThisMinute.”
The transaction is structured as a purchase of assets, and it will be funded with cash on hand; no debt financing will be required. It is expected to be accretive to earnings in the first full year Scripps operates the acquired stations. The two stations together have about 100 employees.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter.
Scripps and Granite also have signed a Time Brokerage Agreement, whereby Scripps will provide four to six hours of daily programming to WMYD until the deal closes.
“These two stations are a terrific fit for our TV portfolio,” said Brian Lawlor, senior vice president of television. “We love doing business in Detroit. WXYZ is one of our most important TV stations, and our ability to marry it with the MyNetworkTV station allows us to extend our commitment to that market and continue the conversation and the passion driving the renaissance of this great American city.
“We are equally enthusiastic about entering Buffalo for the first time in the company’s history. We have had decades of success running ABC stations along the eastern Great Lakes. We look forward to including Buffalo in our content and customer strategies that now run through Cleveland and Detroit.”
After the deal closes, Scripps will own 21 stations: ABC affiliates in Buffalo, Detroit, Denver, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Fla., Cleveland, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Bakersfield, Calif.; NBC affiliates in West Palm Beach, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla.; an independent station in Lawrence, Kan. (a duopoly with Kansas City), and a MyNetworkTV affiliate in Detroit; and five Azteca America affiliates.
The total market reach for Scripps stations will be nearly 14 percent of U.S. households once the transaction is complete.