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RENAISSANCE PULLS SILVER LINING FROM CLOUDY WEEK

It was not a great week for Renaissance Communications.

First Renaissance saw its deal to buy Outlet Communications for $360 million blown out of the water by NBC’s $397 million bid. Then a Delaware Court threw out Renaissance’s suit protesting NBC’s move and accusing the Peacock web of illegal activities in its late bid for Outlet.

But the week wasn’t a total loss. Sources said NBC paid Renaissance $6.5 million for all the trouble they caused. And now Renaissance is free to go after other properties, including Disney-owned KCAL which may have to be sold as part of the Disney-ABC merger.

For NBC, the acquisition of Outlet – which owns NBC affiliates WCMH Columbus, Ohio, and WJAR Providence, R.I.; and WNCN Raleigh-Durham, which becomes an NBC affiliate this fall – gives the network nine TV stations reaching almost 24% of the country. Outlet also operates Warner Bros, network affiliate WWHO Chillicothe, Ohio, under a local marketing agreement.

Although the stations are all top-50 market affiliates, they are closer to No.50 than they are to No.1, which had some wondering why NBC pursued the stations so aggressively.

One theory was that the Peacock web was concerned that Renaissance, which owns several Fox affiliates, would consider switching at least one of the stations to the weblet.

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