Transactions

FCC Approves Sale of Time Warner Station WPCH-TV to Meredith

Transaction part of plan to avoid FCC review of programmer's merger with AT&T 4/18/2017 10:08 AM Eastern

The FCC has approved the sale of Time Warner's WPCH-TV Atlanta to Meredith for $70 million.

The application was filed in February and was part of the strategy to avoid FCC review of the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

Related: Time Warner Selling WPCH to Meredith

Had Time Warner still owned the station, AT&T would have had to submit the merger for FCC review of that license transfer instead of simply submitting it to the Justice Department for antitrust review. The FCC's review goes beyond whether a deal is anticompetitive to look at its pro-public interest benefits.

Meredith has a JSA with WPCH — formerly Turner's Superstation WTBS — for more than 15% of ad time, so it already has an attributable interest in the station. It already owns WGCL-TV there, but the market is large enough to accommodate duopolies.

Time Warner has some other FCC licenses — for internal links between CNN field trucks and studios — but AT&T had signaled those will not be part of the deal either.

The assignment of license was granted April 14, but the FCC had not yet released the public notice of the approval at press time Tuesday (April 18).

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