Sinclair to buy Buffalo TV station for $33 mil

B'caster to designate property as commercial entity

NEW YORK — Sinclair Broadcast Group Friday agreed to acquire a noncommercial television station in Buffalo, NY, for $33 million and detailed plans to have it designated a commercial station.

Because Sinclair already owns the Fox affiliate in the same market, the TV station group said it planned to reassign the license assets of Buffalo’s Channel 23 to a third party before closing with the seller, Western New York Public Broadcasting Association.

Sinclair also called the deal contingent on the seller’s obtaining from regulators both the normal approvals and permission to de-reserve Channel 23 as a non-commercial station.

Once those regulatory hurdles are cleared, Sinclair said it would begin programming Channel 23 under a local marketing agreement (LMA). The target date is the fourth quarter.

The Baltimore-based broadcast company, which currently owns or programs 56 television stations and 54 radio stations, said it expected to finance the additional station with bank borrowings.

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