Friday, 22 March 2024
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Variety reports the Federal Communications Commission is ordering Nexstar, operators of CW flagship WPIX Channel 11 to sell that station or others and levies a fine against Nexstar over a pact with Mission Broadcasting, which owns PIX 11.

The commission on Thursday issued a 42-page decision in its probe of Nexstar's ties to Mission Broadcasting and whether their business agreement violated the FCC's reach limit on TV station ownership. The commission's concluded that Nexstar's near-total oversight of WPIX's operations gave the station giant effective control of precious TV industry real estate - a full-power broadcast TV station in the nation's largest market. The commission fined Mission $612,395 for its part in the activity.

The FCC gave Nexstar and Mission two options to remedy the violation within 12 months: Sell WPIX to an unaffiliated third party, or sell enough other Nexstar stations to bring the company in line with the 39% limit.

"Nexstar and Mission must undertake one of two options within twelve months of the issuance of any forfeiture order or payment of the forfeiture proposed in this [Notice of Apparent Liability], whichever comes first, whereby either (1) Mission divests WPIX to an unrelated third party, or (2) Mission formally sells WPIX to Nexstar and the Parties file an application seeking Commission consent to the assignment of license, with Nexstar divesting a sufficient number of other stations to reduce its national coverage footprint consistent with the National Ownership Cap."
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