CINCINNATI — The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) has closed its acquisition of eight television stations in seven markets divested from the Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST) transaction with Tribune Media (NYSE: TRCO).
The acquisition grows the Scripps local television station footprint to 60 stations in 42 markets, making it the nation’s fourth-largest independent broadcaster with a reach of 31% of U.S. TV households.
Since Jan. 1, Scripps has added 27 television stations to its portfolio, and it now expects 2020 company free cash flow to be in the range of $225 million to $250 million.
The stations diversify Scripps’ affiliate relationships, expand its political advertising footprint and bring durability and geographic reach to its television station portfolio.
The stations joining Scripps’ television portfolio today are:
WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York City. (Scripps has granted Nexstar the option to buy back WPIX in New York City. The option is exercisable from March 31, 2020, through the end of 2021.)
KASW, the CW affiliate in Phoenix (which joins the Scripps ABC affiliate there)
WSFL, the CW affiliate in Miami–Fort Lauderdale (adjacent to the Scripps NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida)
KSTU, the Fox affiliate in Salt Lake City
WTKR, the CBS affiliate, and WGNT, the CW affiliate, in Norfolk, Virginia
WTVR, the CBS affiliate in Richmond, Virginia
WXMI, the Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan
The eight stations deepen Scripps’ presence in Arizona, Florida, Michigan and New York. Scripps is adding its first stations in the No. 1 ranked DMA of New York City and the states of Virginia and Utah. It will now operate nine markets with more than one station, including in its second-largest market, Phoenix.