The FCC has approved Nexstar's $370 million purchase of Communications Corp. of America, so long as it spins off WEVV-TV, the CBS (and Fox) affiliate in Evansville, Ind., to Bayou City Broadcasting.
Nexstar had already said back in August that it was selling the station to Bayou in order to secure Justice and FCC approval.
DOJ last week had signaled it was OK with the deal contingent on that spin-off.
In a blog posting, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and former chairwoman and commissioner Mignon Clyburn said the approval of that deal, and other recent deals, shows that the FCC's move to reign in "sidecar" joint sales agreements was creating new business models that promoted independent voices.
Bayou is owned by DuJuan McCoy, who is African American. "[McCoy] will become part-owner of WEVV-TV and will run the day-to-day operations," Wheeler and Clyburn pointed out. A private investment group is putting up the money for the station.
Critics of the decision to make many TV JSAs attributable as ownership interest said it would harm, not help, diversity.
"What we have done in a very short time is foster clear-eyed market-based solutions to the longstanding challenge of low minority broadcast ownership," said Wheeler and Clyburn, who said the Nexstar and other recent deals "indicate real and replicable progress of which the broadcast industry should take note. We look forward to the continued expansion of minority ownership of broadcast stations and invite the participation of all stakeholders in working toward this goal."