It is official.
E.W. Scripps Co. announced Monday that it has agreed to buy WKBW Channel 7 and WMYD in Detroit for $110 million in cash.
The Buffalo News reported Saturday that the deal was expected.
The deal with Granite Broadcasting Corp., which is controlled by a hedge fund, faces Federal Communications Commission approval, which typically takes three to four months.
Channel 7 General Manager Mike Nurse said Scripps officials plan to come in to talk to the staff today and Wednesday.
“They are extremely excited to be purchasing this station,” Nurse said. “The Buffalo market fits perfectly with their strategy of targeting turnaround markets, especially along the Great Lakes.”
One of the first orders of business will be the decision whether to keep Nurse, who had been the station manager for 12 years before becoming general manager less than a year ago. Scripps could value his understanding of the Buffalo market, which is something that takes time when new management comes in.
“I don’t anticipate many changes,” Nurse said of the immediate future of the station that is deep in third place in local news. “We’ve had very good dialogue, and I look forward to working with them.”
Channel 7 staffers are expected to be excited about being owned by a broadcast company after years in which a hedge fund controlled Granite Broadcasting, the station’s present owner.
After reading The News report that deal was imminent, two staffers who declined to be identified thought it would be good news.
“Scripps is one of the top broadcast companies in the country,” said one staffer.
“If it is true, hallelujah,” said another.
Scripps als announced it is buying the Detroit MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYD.
The purchase of WMYD creates a duopoly for Scripps with its largest station, the Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ.
“These stations will contribute strong cash flow to our core business, give us new markets in which to expand our digital business and add more audiences for ‘Let’s Ask America,’ ‘The List’ and ‘RightThisMinute’,” said Rich Boehne, E.W. Scripps Co.’s chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer, referring to Scripps’ three new television programs.
After the deal is finalized, Scripps – which owns daily and community newspapers throughout the United States – will have 21 television stations: ABC affiliates in Buffalo, Detroit, Denver, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Fla., Cleveland, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Bakersfield, Calif.; NBC affiliates in West Palm Beach, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla.; an independent station in Lawrence, Kan.; a MyNetwork affiliate in Detroit; and five Azteca America affiliates. The total market reach for Scripps stations will be nearly 14 percent of U.S. households once the deal closes.
– McClatchy Newspapers contributed to this report.