Thanks to numerous OMW readers for the heads up on this one...
Piedmont CBS/FOX combo WKBN-TV/27 and WYFX/17-62 are being sold to New Vision Television, an Atlanta-based broadcast group.
The Youngstown-Warren Business Journal reports that the company is paying $47 million dollars for the stations.
OMW hears that "27 First News" announced the sale on their 5 PM newscast tonight, which we've confirmed from this item on the WKBN/WYFX web site:
Our corporate owners, Piedmont Television Holdings, have signed an agreement to sell both WKBN-TV, and our sister station WYFX, to New Vision Television.
The transaction is subject to approval by the F-C-C, a process expected to take several months. New Vision is run by veteran broadcasters with an outstanding record of success in the industry. We at First News and First News on FOX welcome New Vision to the Mahoning Valley, and look forward to a relationship that most benefits you, our viewer.
Who is "New Vision"?
The company recently restarted as a TV group owner with the purchase of two Media General CBS affiliates, WIAT/42 Birmingham AL and KIMT/3 Mason City IA. That purchase was closed last month.
We say "restarted", as this is apparently the second go-round for New Vision, which has been backed by equity investment firm Arlington Partners.
That company's website notes that New Vision once had four stations, in California, Minnesota, Texas and Indiana - the latter being Fort Wayne's NBC affiliate, WISE/33 - before selling them off to three different companies.
This wording might be interesting to folks in Youngstown, though we're not sure if it holds true in practice:
All stations are ratings leaders in their marketplaces and produce strong local news programming. New Vision continues to actively pursue additional station acquisition opportunities with similar operating profiles.
The group has been ramping up again, with WKBN/WYFX apparently being its third acquisition in its second stage.
Here's an interesting article on MediaVillage.com, where New Vision company officials call local TV stations "beachfront property" that will be "big winners" in the technology future.
It also calls New Vision's Jason Elkin and John Heinen "controversial industry veterans"...with plans to acquire several mid-market stations in this second round. The article was written in the summer of 2005, just a few months before the first two acquisitions listed above...