Nexstar Broadcasting Purchases Mean 2 New Duopolies in California

Nexstar Broadcasting Corp. of Irving, Texas, is continuing its run of television station acquisitions with the purchase of three stations in California from two companies, Newport Television of Kansas City, Mo., and Granite Broadcasting Corp. of New York.

Some of those names likely sound familiar. Nexstar owns TV stations in Arkansas, including NBC affiliates KNWA-TV in Fayetteville and KARK-TV, Channel 4, in Little Rock.

Newport, meanwhile, finalized in January its sale of Fox affiliate KLRT-TV, Channel 16 in Little Rock to Mission Broadcasting of Westlake, Ohio. Mission has a deal with Nexstar to, in essence, allow Nexstar to run KLRT for it. The arrangement has resulted in an all-but-in-name merger of the Little Rock Fox and NBC affiliates' news and sales operations and, obviously, layoffs.

(Kate Knable does her best to explain this alphabet soup of ownership and management deals here and here.)

Even though some people don't like them, consolidation, duopolies and things that look like duopolies aren't new for Nexstar, and apparently they're working out well. In its most recent quarter, the company reported a 20 percent rise in revenue and a near 200 percent boost in income from operations (PDF). Nexstar is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on March 7.

Back in California, according to TVSpy, Nexstar has bought NBC affiliate KGET and Telemundo affiliate KKEY in Bakersfield and CBS affiliate KGPE in Fresno from Newport in a $34.5 million deal. The deal for Granite's NBC affiliate KSEE in Fresno was announced last month.

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