Nexstar Completes KWBF Buy, Will Launch 7 PM Newscast

Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. of Irving, Texas, said Thursday that it will close on its $4 million acquisition of Little Rock MyNetworkTV affiliate KWBF-TV on Jan. 30 and launch a new hour-long newscast at 7 p.m.

Nexstar, which also owns Little Rock NBC affiliate KARK-TV, Channel 4, said it will re-launch the station as KARZ-TV on Feb. 1. KARZ-TV, or "Z-42." KARZ will retain its MyNetworkTV affiliation.

Nexstar purchased the station from Equity Broadcasting of Little Rock, which is seeking bankruptcy protection.

The new Z-42 will also broadcast a one-hour, prime-time local newscast called "First in Prime." The show will be produced by KARK and include live sports reporting from KNWA-TV in Fayetteville, another Nexstar NBC affiliate.

The company did not say when the newscast would begin.

Nexstar first announced the buy in October. In December, KARK General Manager Gayle Kiger said Nexstar is spending more than $1 million to build out KARK's Victory Building offices to accomodate K-42's operations there.

"KARZ-TV represents a great opportunity to increase our level of service to Little Rock viewers and advertisers," Perry A. Sook, Nexstar Broadcasting Group's president and CEO, said in a news release. "We intend to super-serve the local community, as viewers will see more local programming including local sports and expanded segments from the award winning KARK News teams."

Z-42 will broadcast in a full-power digital signal, an upgrade over the station's existing signal. It will offer a variety of MyNetworkTV shows, such as "WWE Smackdown," "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and syndicated airings of "Family Guy," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Sex and the City."