Fox Television Stations and Cox Media Group announced in a joint press release Tuesday that they are swapping ownership of four local television stations, including KTVU Fox 2 in Oakland which in 2013 was involved in an on-air Asiana Airlines gaffe.
The other stations being exchanged are independent KICU-TV in San Jose, WFXT Fox 25 in Boston and WHBQ Fox 13 in Memphis.
As part of the agreement, Cox is unloading Bay Area stations KTVU and KICU in exchange for Fox-owned-and-operated WFXT and WHBQ.
“The addition of KTVU and KICU to our portfolio of owned-and-operated stations provides us with a compelling growth opportunity in a top-10 market,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations, Inc.
Meanwhile, Cox says the agreement will allow it to expand into Boston. “This is the first time we have had a media presence in Boston and Memphis, and CMG is excited about the prospects that WFXT-TV and WHBQ-TV bring to our business,” said Cox Media Group president Bill Hoffman.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement is subject to FCC approval.
Below is a copy of the joint press release:
FOX Television Stations, Inc. (FTS) and Cox Media Group (CMG) today announced they have entered into an agreement under which FTS will swap its FOX affiliated stations in the Memphis and Boston markets for two CMG stations located in the San Francisco-Bay Area market.
As part of the agreement, FTS will acquire from CMG the FOX affiliate KTVU-TV FOX 2 as well as the independent KICU-TV, both in the San Francisco-Bay area market. In exchange, CMG will acquire FTS’ owned-and-operated WHBQ-TV FOX 13 and WFXT-TV FOX 25, located in the Memphis and Boston markets, respectively. After the deal closes, the Memphis and Boston stations will remain FOX affiliates.
“The addition of KTVU and KICU to our portfolio of owned-and-operated stations provides us with a compelling growth opportunity in a top-10 market,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations, Inc. “Our stations group will benefit from both the strong demographics of the Bay area market as well as the alignment with our package of sports rights. I’d like to also take this opportunity to acknowledge the talented Boston and Memphis teams for the great work they do. We are confident they will be in good hands with our partners at Cox.”
“This is the first time we have had a media presence in Boston and Memphis, and CMG is excited about the prospects that WFXT-TV and WHBQ-TV bring to our business,” said CMG President Bill Hoffman. “These new stations fit nicely into CMG’s broadcast portfolio, and we look forward to having a great news presence in these two markets and competing hard with the fine local broadcasters who already reside there.”
Hoffman added, “I would like to recognize and thank the outstanding teams at KTVU and KICU. We are proud of the work they have done over the decades to superserve the San Francisco Bay community with award-winning broadcasting and sales solutions for their advertisers.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions.
Below is the video from KTVU’s infamous broadcast.