With its Media General acquisition drawing closer, Nexstar Broadcasting Monday announced the sale of five more TV stations to comply with FCC ownership caps, this time to USA Television MidAmerica Holdings.
In the $115 million cash deal, USA Television, which is affiliated with MSouth Equity Partners and Heartland Media, will get five affiliates in five markets: WFFT Fort Wayne, Ind.; KIMT Rochester, Minn.; WTHI Terre Haute, Ind.; WLFI Lafayette, Ind.; and KQTV Saint Joseph, Mo.
The Rochester, Terre Haute and Lafayette stations, all CBS affiliates, currently belong to Media General. WFFT, a Fox affiliate, and KQTV, an ABC affiliate, are owned by Nexstar.
Robert Prather, principal at USA Television, said the group checked off a number of the boxes he looks for in acquisitions: news leaders, university markets, strong local roots. "Four out of five are No. 1s," he told B&C. "They're good towns with good news operations."
The sale is the latest in a series of recently announced Nexstar divestitures, which the FCC is requiring as part of the company’s merger with Media General. Gray Television paid $270 million for Nexstar stations in Green Bay, Wisc. and Davenport, Iowa in early June. Just a week earlier, Nexstar announced the sale of five other stations in four markets to different buyers including Graham Media, Bayou City Broadcasting and Marquee Broadcasting.