Sinclair Inc. finalizes its purchase of WNWO-TV

Broadcast group buys 18 stations for $370M

11/25/2013
BLADE STAFF

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. announced Monday that its acquisition of Toledo’s WNWO-TV, Channel 24, and 17 other television stations has been completed.

Sinclair announced in February that it would buy the stations from Barrington Broadcasting Corp. in a $370 million deal that also will have Sinclair operating or providing sales services to six other stations.

The 24 stations are in 15 markets and reach 3.4 percent of U.S. television households.

Only two of the stations — both in the Flint-​Saginaw-​Bay City-Midland, Mich., area — are in larger markets than Toledo.

But WNWO, an NBC affiliate, has been a ratings laggard for years, trailing the CBS and ABC affiliates. It has been through a long string of staff and management changes.

Sinclair did not say whether it planned changes at any of its newly acquired stations.

Barrington bought WNWO and 11 other TV stations in 2006 from Raycom Media Inc. in a $262 million deal. Raycom had purchased the station from Marlite Communications in 1998.

The Toledo station was founded in 1966 as WDHO-TV, with the call letters coming from the initials of founder Daniel H. Overmyer.

Sinclair said in a statement Monday that the acquisition was funded through cash on hand.

— Chip Towns