"Fox Television Stations and Cox Media Group have announced they are swapping stations in three markets: Fox will get Fox affiliate KTVU and independent KICU in San Francisco, and Cox will get Fox-owned WHBQ in Memphis and WFXT in Boston," reports Media Bistro's TVSpy.
The story adds, "After the deal closes, WHBQ and WFXT will remain Fox affiliates."
San Francisco is the nation's 6th largest TV market, Boston is No. 7. Memphis is TV market No. 50.
KTVU, proudly located in Oakland, which is across the San Francisco Bay from the actual city of San Francisco, has been owned by Cox for 51 years, according to another TV Spy story.
One of the hallmarks of KTVU over the years has been a popular nightly ten o'clock newscast.
A driver of the deal, for Fox, is clearly football. "With KTVU, Fox gains a station in an NFC market. It has rights to the NFL’s NFC package of games. In fact, the 2016 Super Bowl will be played at the home of the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately for Fox, CBS has the rights to Super Bowl 50," acccording to the second TV Spy story.
Here is the entire press release announcing the swap of the TV stations between Cox and Fox:
NEW YORK & ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.