Scripps to spend $580mn acquiring eight TV stations
The EW Scripps Company announced today that it is in the process of acquiring eight television stations owned by the Nexstar Media Group, which is spinning off the stations as part of its merger with Tribune Media. Scripps will pay a cash consideration totalling US$580mn for the stations, which reported a blended 2017-2018 revenue of $263mn and an EBITDA of $56mn.
"This acquisition represents another step in our plan to improve the depth, reach and durability of our broadcast television station portfolio while adding nicely to the company's free cash flow generation," said Adam Symson, president and CEO of Scripps. "These stations allow us to rebalance our portfolio with meaningful assets – at an efficient price ahead of a robust political advertising season."
The purchase will grow Scripps’ portfolio to a total of 59 stations in 42 markets with a reach of nearly 30 percent of U.S. TV households. The eight stations deepen Scripps' presence in Arizona, Florida, Michigan and New York. Scripps will add its first stations in the No. 1-ranked DMA of New York City and the states of Virginia and Utah. It will now operate nine markets with more than one station, compared to four a year ago.
The stations to be acquired in the deal are:
WPIX, the No.5-ranked CW affiliate in New York City
KASW, the CW affiliate in Phoenix (which joins the Scripps ABC affiliate there)
WSFL, the CW affiliate in Miami–Fort Lauderdale (adjacent to the Scripps NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida)
KSTU, the No. 2-ranked Fox affiliate in Salt Lake City
WTKR, the No. 2-ranked CBS affiliate, and WGNT, the CW affiliate, in Norfolk, Virginia
WTVR, the No. 2-ranked CBS affiliate in Richmond, Virginia
WXMI, the Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan
The new stations will also increase Scripps’ capability as a political advertising platform in the 2020 Presidential Election, with five stations in Florida reaching approximately 67 percent of its households; four stations in Michigan reaching approximately 78 percent of its households; and three stations in the two largest TV markets in Virginia – including the two stations in Norfolk and one in the state capital of Richmond.
"With these acquisitions, Scripps will reach 30 percent of U.S. television households, entering Virginia and Utah for the first time," said Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media. "We look forward to sharing with all of these new communities Scripps' unwavering commitment to impartial and impactful journalism."
Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR
The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.”
NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well.
2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer.