Landmark: KLAS Las Vegas Not for Sale...Yet
In wake of WTVF Nashville deal, eyes on Sin City market leader
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/11/2012 12:18:16 PM
Landmark's lone remaining station, KLAS Las Vegas, is likely to stay part of Landmark for the foreseeable future.
"KLAS is not on the market," says Rusty Friddell, executive VP at Landmark Media Enterprises.
That may change when Vegas, battered by the recent recession, is back up to speed economically, notes Friddell.
WTVF was not necessarily on the block before the announcement of its sale, he adds, until calls from serious broadcast companies came in. "We saw a high degree of interest from very credible broadcasters," Friddell says. "That started the process."
A handful of queries came in after the sale inquiring about KLAS' availability, says Friddell, but were told the time is not right for a deal involving the CBS affiliate powerhouse. "A serious buyer would have to understand the Las Vegas market and how it has cycled with higher degree of amplitude than the average market," he says. "We're in the down part of the cycle now. If someone understands where the market will come back to, we might be willing to talk."
In January 2008, Landmark put the two stations up for sale. Bonten had initially agreed to buy WTVF that year, but the deal fell through.
Around the same time, Landmark heard bids for the Weather Channel, which went to NBCUniversal and a pair of private equity outfits for $3.5 billion.
I would settle with Landmark selling KLAS to either Cox, LIN, or Post-Newsweek... if Landmark is wanting out of the TV station ownership business.
New Vision, McGraw-Hill, and Freedom recently got out of the TV station business... Newport is still working toward getting out of the TV staiton business. It remains to be seen if Tribune is considering getting out of the TV station business anytime soon.
Eric - 9/11/2012 7:02:26 PM EDT
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