Paxson gets N.Y. TV foothold

Channel 31 to launch PAX NET

NEW YORK — Paxson Communications Corp. announced Friday that, having received regulatory approval, it completed its $257.5 million acquisition of New York TV station WPXN. Paxson agreed in May 1997 to buy the station from a partnership of Dow Jones Inc. and ITT Corp. and, through a time-brokerage arrangement, has been operating WPXN since June 1997.

The station, also known as Channel 31, will serve as the flagship for PAX NET — the national family entertainment network that Paxson plans to launch in August 1998. The 78 TV stations that Paxson owns or operates or has agreed to acquire make it the nation’s largest owner and operator of broadcast TV stations.

New York’s Channel 31 joins the Paxson lineup after its previous owners pulled the plug on their short-lived business-news and sports programming venture.

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