San Diego TV Station Acquired By CW Parent Nexstar For $35M


Nexstar Media Group, which owns The CW and the largest group of local TV stations in the U.S., is adding an independent station in San Diego to its portfolio.

The company has agreed to pay $35 million to acquire KUSI-TV (Channel 51) from McKinnon Broadcasting Company. It will join Nexstar-owned Fox affiliate KWSB-TV in San Diego, which is the No. 30 market in the U.S.

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The move is a potential step toward creating an owned-and-operated CW station in the market. The network is currently carried by KFMB, a Tegna-owned station, and any transition would have to wait until the expiration of its affiliate agreement. Still, the upside of that scenario was noted in Nexstar’s announcement of the deal. The station combination is “expected to be accretive to Nexstar’s operating results when The CW Network affiliation becomes available in the market,” the announcement said.

The San Diego shuffle comes days after eight CBS stations in major markets shed their CW affiliations to become independent, a development that had been expected since Nexstar acquired a majority stake in The CW last fall.

The transaction is expected to close later this year, pending FCC approval. The FCC also is continuing to evaluate Tegna’s pending sale to private equity firm Standard General, though that process has been mired in litigation since the regulatory agency opted to refer the matter to an administrative hearing.

“KUSI-TV’s established local news operations serving viewers and advertisers across the San Diego
community is a perfect fit with our station group and existing San Diego operations at KSWB-TV,” Nexstar President and COO Tom Carter said in a press release. “Their mission of serving the community by delivering the most local news in the market is consistent with Nexstar’s commitment to providing consumers expansive local content on linear and digital platforms.”

KUSI owner and CEO Mike McKinnon said the deal will create “one of the most dynamic news organizations in all of Southern California.”

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