WTVF Nashville Sale Is Off

Sale of Landmark owned station to Bonten Media done in by the credit crunch.

The sale of Landmark's WTVF TV to Bonten Media is off, done in by the credit crunch, according to Bonten Chairman Randall Bongarten.

WTVF is a CBS affiliate in Nashville, Tenn.

Bonten told Landmark it would not be able to close on the deal, which was financed through Lehman Brothers.

"We are disappointed we will not be able to complete the acquisition of this fine television station," said Bongarten in a statement. "Unfortunately, credit markets around the world have seriously deteriorated following the failure of Lehman Brothers, through whom we had arranged financing for the acquisition."

Bongarten also said the company was unable to line up any financing to replace that of the defunct Lehman Bros.

No price tag had been announced, but it was thought the station would go for more than $200 million.

Bonten operates 16 full-power, low-power and digital-TV stations in eight markets. The company is a partnership between private-equity outfit Diamond Castle Holdings and Bongarten, former president of Emmis Television.

Landmark is in divestment mode, including the recent sale of basic-cable-network operator The Weather Channel to NBC Universal.