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WTVJ For Sale

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update: NBC Universal will be keeping WSCV Telemundo 51 in the fold but sell WTVJ NBC 6.

just announced NBC Universal has put WTVJ for sale!

the memo that went out little over an hour ago from John Wallace head of NBC owned stations

From: Wallace, John (NBC Universal) Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 2:15 PM
To: @NBC Uni TVS All Users
Subject: ANNOUNCEMENT

As you know, our business is going through a period of tremendous change. We’re in the process of re-engineering the way we think, shifting our focus from a traditional stations business to becoming full-service local media production centers. We started that transformation in November by changing our name to NBC Local Media, sending a signal to the marketplace about our new direction. We’ve also made two major investments, acquiring LX.TV and Skycastle Entertainment, and significantly increased the resources behind NBC Everywhere, our digital Out of Home operation.These growth investments are an important part of ensuring our long-term viability. They also need to be self-funded. As a result, we’ve taken a hard look at our portfolio and made some difficult decisions about what’s best for our business going forward. To that end, we are putting two of our NBC stations, WTVJ in Miami and WVIT

BroadcastingCableNBC Puts Two Stations on Block
MediaBistro TVNewserNBCU Puts Two Stations Up for sale
CBS4.com NBC Puts Historic Miami Station Up For Sale
MiamiHeraldNBC puts South Florida’s WTVJ up for sale

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38 COMMENTS

  1. “We’re in the process of re-engineering the way we think”
    That’s code for they don’t know what the hell we are doing.

    “NBC Local Media”
    “NBC Everywhere our digital Out of Home operation”
    This is code for advertising sales. Who thinks up these things?

    I never heard of LX.Tv and Skycastle. I went to the sites and they are amatuer talents doing amatuer videos on stupid topics. They are selling a Miami station to help fund these stupid web sites? You have a huge station with all this HD this and that and you sell it to do cheesy web videos?

    Maybe NBC should just fired the staff and hired the people who turned ch10 around. That would be a lot easier and cheaper.

  2. Rightnow is right. Twenty years of tv shuffling are going to be undone and we’ll be taken back in a time warp. The date was December 31, 1988, and we watched Channel 4 (CBS), Channel 6 (FOX), Channel 7 (NBC). January 1, 201x, and you will be watching Channel 4 (CBS O&O), Channel 6 (FOX O&O), Channel 7 (NBC).

  3. Sunbeam can return to NBC and program exactly like Boston. They can still have 2 1/2 hours of evening news. The can still have freedom from 11am – 6:30pm as they’ll be locked into only 1 hour of daytime soaps. They can even slice up 4 hours of the Today Show. Yes, WSVN won’t come calling to NBC. It will be NBC that comes calling to Ansin.

  4. funny how things worked out though
    NBC buys WTVJ, nearly kills WSVN, and 20 years later
    their station can’t keep it’s neck above water and
    WSVN owns almost 20% of the local TV ad market

  5. Its most likely because WTVJ horrible ratings for the last couple of years. Kind of sad remembering their last golden age in the mid-90’s.
    Ive got a question though, if NBC sells WTVJ, cant they just have new ownership but keep their affiliation to wtvj. WSVN would not work in Miami as NBC. Is iot possible Miami will be left with out an NBC station?

  6. More than likely, TVJ will stay an NBC affiliate, but I’d love to see Fox move to either ch. 33 or 39.

    AS, for Boston, I was originally fantasizing WBZ becoming an NBC O&O teaming up with Telemundo 60 WNEU, but now that I know how much NBC is starting to suck like dirt, WBZ should stay a CBS O&O.

  7. It’s not because of ratings, Julian. NBC is making a strategic move and concentrating on top ten markets and next-gen media. They have systematically sold off all of their stations below the top ten now, with the exception on San Diego, which they can’t sell because they have a minority owner there that is resisting a sale.

  8. I’m not sure when the NBC affiliation contract for TVJ is set to expire. I’m leaning toward FOX acquiring ownership of TVJ… Rupert Murdoch getting the Miami FOX O&O station he’s been interested in for quite some time.

    If SVN was to return to its NBC roots… 7 would be forced to dump the 10-11PM, 6:30-7PM, and 7-9AM newscasts. Like sister station HDH… SVN would be offering 6 hours of news per day.

    If TVJ was to convert to FOX affiliation… the 10-11PM, 6:30-7PM, and 7-9AM newscasts would begin showing up. FOX likely dumping the 7-7:30PM newscast, and bringing back the 5-6PM newscast. Viewers seeing the “Good Day” and “News Edge” branding monikers for the morning and 11PM newscasts… as well as the FOX O&O style graphics, set design, and theme music showing up on 6.

    Just my thoughts.

  9. I think most of the decent ownership groups out there would bring back the 5-6pm news. Dismantling the afternoon news block immediately before a station sale was a pretty stupid move. Any new owner would certainly have wanted to bethe one to make that decision.

    We can only hope a good group like Belo or Cox decides to buy. I agree Fox is a possibility as well, but I hope they don’t get it. All the Fox O&Os are lame WSVN wannabes that try and try but can’t quite pull off the magic formula.

  10. KTTV in LA is a FOX O&O and does not have an afternoon news block. They only have 5 hours of local programming in the morning (2 hours of which is actually news) and a 10pm show. Since FOX also owns KCOP they offer a 1 hr 11pm newscast.

    I am sure FOX will buy WTVJ and strip it of NBC only after NBC finds a new home. I hope WSVN goes independent!

    I can only imagine that when “In The Loop With iVillage” ends the timeslot will be replaced with more crap cause NBC wont let its stations carry local programs. I would love to see a 1/2 hr newscast at 12 on 6 along with some other show at 12:30 and another 1/2 hr at 5 with Crosswords at 5:30.

    As for KNBC they should shift Martha to 12 and move Ellen back to 3 and relaunch the Channel 4 News at 4 to compete with KABC and KCAL. Or if KNBC was smart they would launch a “South Florida Today” like show called “SoCal Today.”

  11. FOX negotiating for WTVJ. You heard it here first…

    Ed Ansin will consummate his marriage to NBC by return WSVN to its peacock roots.

    FOX will get what it has wanted for years, a Miami O&O. In light of recent sales in smaller markets, money is not a problem and neither is the FCC.

  12. this is just an “IF” here it goes: what would happen to SCV studios if TVJ goes FOX or owned by an independent group? would SCV stay in the building or will they move to Hialeah?

  13. Frank … the answer to your question … the building is included as part of the sale. WSCV has some options; 1. work out a lease deal if both stations decide to stay news partners and share the facilities, 2. move back to Hialeah or 3. build a new station facility.

    The employees were told by their respective GMs that they agreed to stay on as news sharing partners after the sale. But then again, that all depends on who buys and if affiliation stays the same.

    In other words … WSCV is flexible according to GE. Many things can happen.

  14. ed ansin will do all in his power not to lose the fox affiliation…right now, american idol is the station’s bread and butter and wsvn will lose WAY TOO MUCH by switching to anything else…i know there’s only so much he can do, but he and his people will not go down without a fight. nbc would be a death sentence.

  15. Skyfox makes a bold and spicy claim. But the world is much different than it was 20 years ago. Ch7 and Fox is a pretty strong brand. Fox has high rated programs. NBC is a loser and the station is a loser. Whoever buys it is going to get it at rock bottom prices.

    If I were working at 6 I would be looking at the classifieds. I bet the new owners come in with an axe and start lopping off heads. They can start with the on air people.

  16. Consider the finances from 2 decades ago and today. Offers for WTVJ in 1986 reached nearly $500 million. Ultimately the station was sold for less. Now, consider 2008. The stated value of the station is approximately $350 million. Do you think there will be a bidding war for the station and the price will be driven higher? That doesnt seem likely. There’s a distinct possibilty the station could be sold for the same amount or even LESS than it was purchased for 22 years ago! Is that the result of poor mangement, signal swap, talent void, or all of the above?

  17. If SVN reverts to NBC and TVJ reverts to CBS, there goes the Big Switch of ’89. If they switch to CW/MyNetworkTV, then that means that WSFL or WBFS will have to swap affiliations. Seeing that WBFS is owned by CBS, I doubt that they’ll be carrying any rival affiliations.

    And just think, it didn’t seem that long ago that CBS gave up all of its West Palm stations (plus a few out-of-state ones) to Cerberus. A lot has changed in just a small amount of time!

  18. Adding to Eric’s thinking … A Fox 6 would pull it’s news partnership with WSFL. That leaves a new opening at 10:00pm. That sounds like a perfect fit for 7 News at 10 on CW 39

  19. Because under 2cents’ scenario, a NBC 7 would not have a 10pm newscast, just like their sister station in Boston, where Ansin bought WLVI to launch a 10pm newscast.

    Then you would have a potential Fox 6 at 10pm versus a WSFL/7 News 10pm newscast.

  20. The Fox Ch. 7 is so strong and just so Miami. Ch.7 squeezes as much out of American Idol as humanely possible, the 3 hour morning newscast has also helped them imensely, their 10 o’clock newscast is their big cahuna and a force in Miami. I dont see no reason Ansin would want to go towrds NBC or sell the cream of the crop in south florida tv. It makes no sense.
    I hope we’ll see NBC 6 or Channel 6 affiliated to NBC not FOX6 and NBC 7. NBC is like a shot to the head!

  21. When some of you say Ansin wouldn’t affiliate with NBC again, I think you’re taking a short-term view as well as one that ignores history.

    American Idol is a hit today, but it’s not going to be around forever, and Ansin and Leider are well aware of this fact. Also, Ansin likes NBC. NBC may have left SVN, but from all accounts, Ansin didn’t lose his love of NBC. Remember, Ansin bought a CBS station in Boston, and quickly changed it to NBC. He and NBC have a long history. This is a potentially emotional connection that may prove tough for him to put aside. That said, 7 is extremely profitable, at least right now, and everyone knows money talks with Ansin.

  22. Right now there is one TV station for sale. Who says there wouldn’t be a second? If Fox takes an interest in WTVJ Sunbeam can take an interest in WSFL. Murrow mentions history. There’s history in Sunbeam going on the offensive and buying WLVI from Tribune. Tribune has mentioned shedding stations in the past. WSFL would be very attractive to Sunbeam if the peacock returns. The 7am – 9am and 10pm – 11pm news blocks would shift to 39. Look to Boston and the current parallels to this market – Sunbeam and 7, CBS owns 2 stations. Now, add the possibilities of both having a FOX O&O, both having 2 Sunbeam stations AND those Sunbeam stations having the same affiliation – NBC & CW. History has a strange habit of repeating itself!

  23. Mr. 2 cents – im pretty sure the reason sunbeam bought WLVI was too add a 10PM news which it didnt have already. Remember Ch7 up there is NBC, so there was no 10PM news. But it would be stupid to buy a station to add competition to your own newscast, unless there is some other hidden reason.

  24. I think, for the right price, the scenario presented by “2cents” is absolutely possible, especially if it appears Fox is being aggressive about buying WTVJ. If it’s clear that Fox isn’t interested in 6, I think the prospect becomes much less likely. But if Fox moves to 6, Ansin could have the “best of both worlds” by buying WSFL and affiliating 7 with NBC, using Boston as a model.

  25. Thanks Murrow and David. That was exactly the point. One of the “speculations” about WLVI was that NBC may have been looking for a different affiliate in Boston. The only other logical option in Boston would have been WLVI. So, Sunbeam moved to “head them off at the pass”. NBC wouldn’t move from Channel 7 to 56 if both were under the same ownership. So, bring this back to South Florida. Why would Sunbeam spend $400 million on WTVJ? Pick up WSFL for only $125 million and let Fox open their checkbooks for WTVJ. Keep $275 million in your pocket and have a mirror image duopoly just like in Boston. Go back in time and remember that WCIX was not initally for sale when CBS came knocking in 1987. While we’re having some fun … look through some of the recent posts. WSFL is moving in to the Sun Sentinel. A TV station with no studios? Wow, that’ll save some money. That saved money will look good on a balance sheet especially if your looking to sell a TV station. Now, who would want to purchase a TV station that will immediately need a home? Why another TV station of course. This all sounds crazy. However, it could be crazy enough to work for Sunbeam, Fox, NBC and the Tribune.

  26. If Tribune was to sell SFL, it would lose its CW affiliation to WBFS. Remember, Tribune and CBS are partners in CW and the only reason WBFS didn’t get CW is because Tribune had a station here. It was a brokered deal and left CBS screwed in Miami. As for FOX buying TVJ, highly unlikely. Fox covers 45 percent of the nation now, and it would probably have to sell at least one station elsewhere. It would have to gut the staff to ‘foxify’ the place, just to be in S. Florida. What it really wants is SVN, not just to be in Miami on any station. Ansin doesn’t want to sell.
    Also, here’s a thought. Dade schools may put WLRN on the block to raise money. It’s really useless to them with new technologies available to provide its programming to schools. With digital TV, UHF means nothing. Fox could buy 17, build a new digital facility, and start fresh. Now that would mess with some minds.

  27. OK… here’s another crazy scenario, keeping in mind Bucky’s good point about WBFS.

    Fox buys WTVJ and WSFL. WTVJ gets Fox. WSFL gets “My Network.” WBFS gets CW. WSVN gets NBC. OK — it’s an extremely unlikely scenario, but hey, we’re just having fun!

  28. OK. Here’s some more fun. Fox buys WTVJ and heads south on the Palmetto and picks up WBFS and takes it back to Miramar with a Fox/MNTV duopoly. Sunbeam subscribes to WSFL at the Sun Sentinel and has it delivered to North Bay Village with NBC/CW duopoly. Fox can build out the Miramar facility and make it FNC south headquarters and Sunbeam can continue to build it’s news department and program as much or even MORE news than they currently have on one channel. If we’re having this much fun imagine what’s going on in every GM’s office in South Florida!

  29. Bucky,

    Now that I think about it, wasn’t Boston in the exact same situation as Miami in that the CBS-owned UPN station didn’t get the CW affiliation? Instead, it went to Tribune’s WLVI, which Ansin later bought.

    Granted, WLVI could lose its affiliation when the affiliate agreement expires, but based on the Boston situation, Ansin could theorhetically buy WSFL and keep the CW programming.

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