If industry watchers figured Landmark Media Enterprises was
looking for a prompt exit to the broadcast business after dealing WTVF
Nashville to Journal Communications Sept. 4, they are mistaken, says Landmark
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