Bill Christian, Mike Reed to sell WNBJ, other TV, radio stations
Deal Covers 11 Big Four Affiliates, 15 Radio Stations, NewsHub in Seven Markets for $64.2M
Over the past five years, career broadcasters Mike Reed and Bill Christian built more big four network affiliates from scratch than anyone in TV history. Today, they announce they are selling them, as well as additional stations they own to recent TV startup company Standard Media.
The deal covers 23 video streams including stations operating under the names of Waypoint Media, Star City Broadcasting, Vision Communications, and Sound Communications. Earlier this year Standard Media Founder Deb McDermott closed on its first acquisition, purchasing Citadel Media’s ABC stations in Providence and Lincoln.
“This is a bittersweet moment. I love this business that has been so much fun and so kind over a lifetime career in television, but we are pleased that we can place our stations and our staffs in the care of broadcast leaders like CEO Deb McDermott and COO Stan Knott. They are well respected and experienced TV operators who will continue to expand on our mission to serve our local communities by ‘paying it forward’ while providing a great environment for our dedicated staff,” said Mike Reed, Founder of Waypoint Media.
McDermott added, “It is exciting to see the explosive growth Mike and Bill have created with these stations. We hope to take their core values and their entrepreneurial spirit to the next level by adding more news and more local programming as we continue the tradition of investing in our communities.”
The markets include Elmira and Olean, NY; Lafayette, IN; Jonesboro AR; Jackson TN; Meridian and Hattiesburg, MS. The deal is expected to close following FCC approval in the First Quarter of 2020.
“The year ahead should be exceptional for the new group with the Superbowl, Olympics and Political,” said Bill Christian, Founder of Vision Communications. “We are so thankful to our wonderful people in every market—some of whom have been with our stations for over forty years—and we couldn’t be happier that they will be in good hands moving forward.”
While some of the stations are only a few years old, the team has already accumulated multiple national awards, including four Emmy Awards, a Telly, a Governor’s Award for Volunteer Excellence and The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance’s TV Station of the Year. Staffs in every market have volunteered countless hours in their own communities. In the past two years, the stations have added nearly two hundred fifty hours a month in brand new local newscasts.
“We’ve been pleased and honored to bring new major network signals and programming never before offered to previously unserved local markets,” added Reed.
In addition to the television properties included in the deal is Bettina Finn’s Sound Communications radio group, and Little Rock-based NewsHub, a recent acquisition that provides news anchoring and production services to stations around the country.
Following the acquisition, Standard Media will own three ABC, two CBS, three NBC, five FOX, one CW and five MyNet stations. The list of stations being purchased is attached.
Christian and Reed are represented by Kalil and Company of Tucson, Arizona.