Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns or controls several major market Fox and independent stations, has acquired all of the non-FCC license assets of MAX Television’s Fox affiliate WTVZ Norfolk, Va. – the nation’s 40th-largest market – for $48 million.
Baltimore-based Sinclair – one of the fastest-growing broadcasters – also owns Fox affils in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Columbus, Ohio, and Birmingham, Ala. It also recently agreed to acquire Paramount-owned Fox affiliate WLFL Raleigh, N.C., for $30 million.
Besides owning the Fox affiliates, Sinclair also controls the indie stations in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Milwaukee and Birmingham through local marketing agreements that give the station group leverage over syndicators in negotiating for programming.
Sinclair also serves as a programming consultant to the ABRY Communications-owned indies in Cincinnati and Kansas City, Mo.
As part of the deal, Sinclair signed a non-compete agreement to eventually acquire the FCC license.