March 22nd, 2013
Fox 4 News

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
Denver KDVR 31 (32) 2008 Fox FTSG
Fort Collins, Colorado KFCT
(satellite of KDVR)
22 (21) 2008 Fox FTSG
Des Moines WHO-DT 13 (13) 2007 NBC NYT
Moline, Illinois/Davenport, Iowa WQAD-TV 8 (38) 2007 ABC NYT
WBQD-LP 261 8.3 1 MyNetworkTV 1
Kansas City WDAF-TV 4 (34) 2008 Fox FTSG
St. Louis KTVI 2 (43) 2008 Fox FTSG
High Point – Greensboro -
Winston-Salem, N.C.
WGHP 8 (35) 2008 Fox FTSG
Cleveland - Akron WJW 8 (8) 2008 Fox FTSG
Oklahoma City KFOR-TV 4 (27) 2007 NBC NYT
KAUT-TV 43 (40) 2007 Independent NYT
Scranton - Wilkes Barre, PA WNEP-TV 16 (50) 2007 ABC NYT
Memphis WREG-TV 3 (28) 2007 CBS 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
Milwaukee WITI 6 (33) 2008 Fox FTSG

7 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    I can’t see LOCAL parceling it out..it will be a majority asset sale to a couple of groups. I agree with those concerned about Sinclair or NexStar. I worked for a station acquired by NexStar, as our radio operation was moving out..not a pretty deal.

  2. Person says:

    Ok, first of all, hasn’t WDAF just recently started dominating the demo? I thought around this time last year, they were only doing mediocre in it, so I don’t understand why they’re all talking about WDAF as if they’ve been KMBC for years. With the way our market has been working recently, KCTV5 could easily be the demo ruler next.

    Secondly, Sinclair and Nexstar being interested in buying any of the Local TV stations isn’t unrealistic at all. The two companies literally seem to have an unlimited flow of money and buy up stations left and right, so I wouldn’t be AT ALL surprised if they showed even a teasing interest in buying some of the Local TV stations (may God help them if any of them are bought by those two monstrosities).

  3. Mike says:

    The GOOD news. Granite Broadcasting probably won’t get involved.

  4. James (Jimmy) Cieloha says:

    I would favor Meredith buying the majority of Local TV LLC stations with ABC moving back to WGHP and FOX moving back to WXLV in Greensboro-High Point, ABC moving back to KTVI and FOX moves to KPLR in Saint Louis with KDNL being stuck with the CW affiliation and FOX moves to KWGN and CW moves to KDVR in Denver in a side deal unrelated to a Sinclair owned and or operated TV station. I would favor LIN TV buying WDAF and KTVI. I would favor seeing LIN TV or Meredith buying WITI, WHO, WQAD, or WGHP. I would favor FOX buying KPLR and KWGN from Tribune to turn them into FOX owned and operated stations.

    • Mike B says:

      I thought they had a pretty good thing going with the 2/11 duoply in St. Louis; don’t know why they would split it up, so one of the stations will have to build a new studio, since both were consolidated to a site in Maryland Heights a few years ago in an industrial park.

      Any move that could be made that would strip the pathetic KDNL of its ABC affiliation would be welcome. I think people have grown so accustomed to Fox2 though, that putting ABC on 11 rather then back on 2 would be a better move. Channel 30 operates even worse now then when they were a second tier independent station in the 80s. The only “news” they have is basically what is 90% an infomercial produced by KSDK; preemptions for infomercials and old movies are common. KDNL is probably the worst large market network affiliate in the US; excepting perhaps WWJ-TV CBS 62 in Detroit (which sadly is CBS O&O).

    • T.L. says:

      I doubt if the Fox affiliations would move in St. Louis and Greensboro. And for that matter the ABC affiliates in those markets. Fox is more than likely happy with KTVI and WGHP, and considering that they are under long-term affiliation contracts, I doubt if any changes will be made any time soon. I doubt if KPLR will take ABC, its owner Tribune only has one “Big Three” affiliate in its portfolio (all the rest are affiliated with Fox, The CW or MyNetworkTV) and all of their CW affiliates are under contract with the network through 2016.

      I doubt if The CW would want one of their affiliates in a Top-25 market to be pushed to a subchannel or a delayed timeslot either. The only reason why WXLV and KDNL are the way they are has a lot to do with the Sinclair ownership essentially giving up on news programming for those stations, they could have used some of the cash they have slinging around for station purchases to invest in creating new news departments for those two stations but choose to use it for other means.

  5. Curtis says:

    “…both were consolidated to a site in Maryland Heights a few years ago in an industrial park.”

    The former KTVI studios on Berthold, built in 1953 for short-time UHF station KSTM, were bulldozed a few weeks ago for a Cadallac dealership to relocate from the county.

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