Updated: Mission Closes $60M Deal for KLRT, KASN; Chuck Spohn Out as General Manager

by Kate Knable  on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 9:24 am  

Chuck Spohn

"They don't disclose the details of any specific agreement," she said.

Changes in Little Rock 

"This transaction is consistent with our core strategy to expand our operations and pursue financial and operating synergies to enhance free cash flow," Perry A. Sook, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Broadcasting, said of the deal in a news release. 

"We look forward to leveraging our knowledge of the Little Rock market, as we provide services to Mission, for the benefit of viewers of KLRT and KASN while creating an even stronger marketing platform for local area businesses."

The Nexstar/Mission deal has local media watchers and station employees wondering how Nexstar might manage its new Little Rock properties, particularly KARK and KLRT, which have competing local news broadcasts and staffs.

Currently, KLRT and KASN have offices and studios at the Metroplex on Colonel Glenn Road in Little Rock. KARK and KARZ are based in the Victory Building on Capitol Avenue in downtown Little Rock. Nexstar also owns NBC affiliate KNWA-TV in Fayetteville.

In Little Rock, KLRT and KARK compete with Allbritton Communications-owned ABC affiliate KATV-TV, Channel 7, and Gannett Co.-owned CBS affiliate KTHV-TV, Channel 11. Little Rock is the country's 56th-largest television market, as ranked by Nielsen Media Research.

KARK, KATV and KTHV all had long-established news operations when KLRT launched its first newscast, an hour-long broadcast at 9 p.m., in 2004. Co-anchors Donna Terrell and Kevin Kelly, present at the launch, still man the anchor desk, and KLRT now has news broadcasts at 5, 5:30 and 10 p.m.

Spohn, 51, led KLRT's efforts to build that local news operation. On Friday, he said he plans to stay in central Arkansas. He has worked in the TV industry for nearly 30 years, but might pursue another career, possibly going into business on his own. He said his years of sales and marketing experience should help him going forward.



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