Oak Hill Capital Partners has put its Local TV LLC stations (listed below), which includes Kansas City’s WDAF-FOX 4, according to Broadcasting & Cable (link).
Local TV is putting all of its stations up for sale, which includes WDAF-TV in Kansas City and KTVI in St. Louis. Local TV came into existence five years ago, financed by Oak Hill Capital Partners, a private equity group.
WDAF was sold in December 2007, and the sale closed in the summer of 2008.
Station staffs are being alerted across the Local TV footprint. The group says the process may take up to a year, and told staffers to go about their business as usual in the meantime.
A media insider provided his thoughts on the situation and how it could affect Fox 4.
“Local’s decision to sell WDAF and its other stations shouldn’t come as a surprise,” he noted. “The partnership purchased the stations from FOX at the worst possible time, just as Sandy DiPasquale’s recently defunct Newport group did when it purchased the ClearChannel group.”
There could be some key changes at WDAF.
“WDAF is a jewel. It kills in the demos and it’s a lean operation.” he says. “First of all, regardless of who buys the group it will probably mark the end of Cheryl McDonald’s reign as GM. I can’t see her surviving a second ownership change, not that she deserves to go. If Cheryl goes Brogden-Miller’s position (news director) will be at best, tenuous.
“The folks on Signal Hill are praying that a cut rate operator like Sinclair or Nexstar doesn’t try and scoop them up. My guts tell me that the fact that both Sinclair and Nexstar just made big acquisitions makes it hard to think they can afford to pony up for the whole Local group. I’m just guessing Local will want to sell the whole thing at once. If not than watch out.”
If those groups don’t buy the stations, who does that leave?
“Looking at the big players that don’t have any issues that could cause FCC problems I’d say Belo or Cox, both outstanding operators.” he adds. “If Local spins the stations off one by one I would think Schurz would take a hard look at WDAF. They have stations in Springfield and Wichita and it would be a good fit. They’re a terrific operator.”
Another insider says Fox 4 is a hot media commodity.
“The biggest stations in this group are attractive properties with positive cash flows and great demos (Kansas City, Denver, Cleveland, St Louis, Milwaukee),” she says. ”Nobody bills more in Kansas City than Fox 4 does. Any station group change eventually brings local management change but in the case of some of these stations – maybe not right away. If it ain’t broke…”
|City of license/Market||Station||Channel
|Owned Since||Affiliation||Acquired from|
|Huntsville, Alabama||WHNT-TV||19 (19)||2007||CBS||NYT|
|Fort Smith - Fayetteville, AR||KFSM-TV||5 (18)||2007||CBS||NYT|
|KXNW||34 (34)||2012||MyNetworkTV||Riverside Media|
|Fort Collins, Colorado||KFCT
(satellite of KDVR)
|Des Moines||WHO-DT||13 (13)||2007||NBC||NYT|
|Moline, Illinois/Davenport, Iowa||WQAD-TV||8 (38)||2007||ABC||NYT|
|Kansas City||WDAF-TV||4 (34)||2008||Fox||FTSG|
|St. Louis||KTVI||2 (43)||2008||Fox||FTSG|
|High Point – Greensboro -
|Cleveland - Akron||WJW||8 (8)||2008||Fox||FTSG|
|Oklahoma City||KFOR-TV||4 (27)||2007||NBC||NYT|
|Scranton - Wilkes Barre, PA||WNEP-TV||16 (50)||2007||ABC||NYT|
|Salt Lake City||KSTU||13 (28)||2008||Fox||FTSG|
|Norfolk - Portsmouth - Newport News||WTKR||3 (40)||2007||CBS||NYT|
|WGNT||27 (50)||2010||The CW||CBSTVS|
|Richmond, Virginia||WTVR-TV||6 (25)||2009||CBS||Raycom|