KMGH, other McGraw-Hill stations sold to Scripps

E.W. Scripps buys station group for $212 million

McGraw-Hill Companies, owner of KMGH Denver's 7, announced Monday that it has agreed to sell its nine-station broadcasting group to E.W. Scripps Company for $212 million.

The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions that is expected to take several months.

Included in the transaction are four stations affiliated with the ABC television network:

  • KMGH in Denver
  • WRTV in Indianapolis
  • KGTV in San Diego
  • KERO in Bakersfield, Calif.

The five other stations involved in the transaction – KZSD in San Diego, KZKC in Bakersfield, KZCO in Denver, KZFC in Ft. Collins, Colo., and KZCS in Colorado Springs, Colo. -- are low-power stations affiliated with the Spanish-language network, Azteca America.

The nine McGraw-Hill stations, which reach approximately 3 percent of U.S. households and generated revenue in 2010 of $97 million, have roughly 460 total employees.

"I am proud of the contributions the Broadcasting Group has made during its rich history with McGraw-Hill. Scripps is a respected media company that will provide an excellent new home for our broadcasting stations and allow them to deepen their ties and value in the markets they serve," said Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of McGraw-Hill Companies.

"This is a terrific opportunity to enter some of America’s most dynamic media markets and tap into the growing Spanish-language marketplace at a very attractive price,” said Rich Boehne, Scripps president and chief executive officer. “The McGraw-Hill stations fit well with our strategy to create economic value through high-quality news and information content that serves both consumers and advertisers through linear television and the exploding array of digital communication devices."

“These stations came up for sale at a good time for Scripps,” Boehne added. “The deal is structured and financed in ways to protect the company’s financial flexibility and our ability to continue investing in emerging media business models. Through this acquisition, we now have the opportunity to extend our local news strategies into markets with big appetites for community-changing journalism.”

The acquisition of the McGraw-Hill stations will extend the Scripps relationship with ABC.

With 10 ABC affiliates among its expanded roster of 19 stations, Scripps will be the country’s largest independent operator of ABC stations. The new stations join a Scripps portfolio that includes six ABC affiliates, three NBC affiliates and one independent.

The consolidated station group will reach approximately 13 percent of U.S. households.

“We’ve looked at several recent opportunities, but the McGraw-Hill stations were the first ones that truly energized our management team,” said Brian Lawlor, Scripps senior vice president of television. “The culture at these stations will fit well with ours, and I’m excited about the compelling benefits we can deliver to our viewers, advertisers and employees in these markets. In recent years we have ramped up our commitment to unique, high-quality local news, and we’re eager to have these new stations join us in that drive for success.”

In an email to employees at KMGH, Boehne wrote:

 

While you’re leaving a great company, I hope you feel that you have landed in a good place with Scripps. We’ve been a leading media innovator for more than 130 years, following the launch of our first newspaper in Cleveland.

We entered content syndication in the early 1900s, got into radio in the 1920s, were one of America’s first TV broadcasters in 1947, and became a global content provider starting with the 1994 launch of Home & Garden Television. After the 2008 spin-off of HGTV and other cable networks, we returned to our roots as a company focused on community-changing local journalism -- as captured by our motto for the past 80 years: “Give light and the people will find their own way.” (That’s why our logo is a lighthouse.)

Today, we look forward to helping create the future of the news industry; a future, we believe, rooted in creating economic value through service to communities and the fascinating people who call them home.

 

The current Scripps TV stations are:

  • KNXV Channel 15, ABC affiliate, in Phoenix, Ariz.
  • WFTS Channel 28, ABC affiliate, in Tampa, Fla.
  • WPTV Channel 5, NBC affiliate, in West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • WMAR Channel 2, ABC affiliate, in Baltimore, Md.
  • WXYZ Channel 7, ABC affiliate, in Detroit, Mich.
  • KSHB Channel 41, NBC affiliate, in Kansas City, Mo.
  • WCPO Channel 9, ABC affiliate, in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • WEWS Channel 5, ABC affiliate, in Cleveland, Ohio
  • KJRH Channel 2, NBC affiliate, in Tulsa, Okla.
  • KMCI Channel 38, independent, in Lawrence, Kans

Scripps also owns daily and community newspapers in 14 markets. It also use to own The Rocky Mountain News but shuttered the newspaper in February 2009 when it found no buyer for the paper.

Scripps Company is separate from Scripps Networks Interactive which owns HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and country music network Great American Country (GAC).

Scripps separated into two publicly traded companies, one focused on creating national lifestyle media brands and the other on building market-leading local media franchises, in 2008.

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