ARLINGTON, Va. — Gannett Co., Inc. has entered into an agreement with Argyle Television Inc. to acquire WZZM-TV, the ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Mich., and WGRZ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y. and to receive other consideration in exchange for WLWT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati, Ohio and KOCO-TV, the ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City.
The announcement was made today by Cecil L. Walker, president and CEO, of Gannett Broadcasting.
As a result of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) newspaper-television cross-ownership rule, Gannett must sell the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The transaction is subject to FCC approval.
Upon completion of this transaction and the recently announced transaction with Jacor Communications to acquire WTSP-TV (CBS-Tampa), Gannett Broadcasting would continue to consist of 16 television stations reaching 16 percent of the U.S. television market.
“We look forward to doing business in the Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek and Buffalo markets. WZZM-TV and WGRZ-TV represent a growth opportunity for Gannett that fits well with our television broadcast coverage across the USA,” Walker said.
“We have enjoyed being in the Cincinnati and Oklahoma City television markets. However, WLWT-TV and KOCO-TV are being traded to resolve newspaper and cable cross- ownership conflicts. Gannett will continue to own The Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper and Multimedia Cablevision in Oklahoma City,” Walker added.
Gannett Broadcasting s other television stations are: WUSA (CBS-Washington, DC); WXIA (NBC-Atlanta); WKYC (NBC-Cleveland); KARE (NBC-Minneapolis); KPNX (NBC- Phoenix); KUSA (NBC-Denver); KSDK (NBC-St. Louis); WFMY (CBS-Greensboro); WTLV (NBC-Jacksonville); KTHV (CBS-Little Rock); WBIR (NBC-Knoxville); KVUE (ABC-Austin) and WMAZ (CBS-Macon). Upon FCC approval, Gannett Television will also include WTSP (CBS-Tampa) and Gannett Broadcasting’s number of radio stations will change from 11 stations to five. Gannett Broadcasting also includes cable operations in five states, an entertainment programming unit and alarm security services.
In addition to its broadcasting operations, Gannett publishes 92 daily newspapers, including USA TODAY, and USA WEEKEND, a newspaper magazine.