Two Seattle TV stations will join Fox Corp as the broadcasting empire pushes further into the lucrative local sports market.
KCPQ Channel 13 and sister station KZJO Channel 22, also known as "JoeTV," are being sold as part of a larger $ 350 million deal with Nexstar Media Group, which has owned the stations since last year, according to a statement Tuesday from Fox Corp. [1[ads1]9659005] KCPQ, already Fox affiliate, had been the local broadcast partner for the Seahawks since 2012. KZJO, also Fox affiliate, is the local broadcast partner of the Seattle Sounders, Seattle Storm and Seattle Thunderbirds.
The deal, scheduled to close in 220, will also see Milwaukee-based WITI go to Fox, while two Fox stations in Charlotte, North Carolina move to Nextstar.
Fox to Seattle acquisitions are part of strategic shifting of Rupert Murdoch's stored Fox media empire following a $ 71.3 billion deal this year that saw much of Fox's entertainment business spin in a merger with Disney. This deal left a smaller Fox Corp. to focus more narrowly on the very profitable broadcasting businesses, especially local sports.
Fox has long sought a station in Seattle as it pushes into the markets cities with National Football League teams. Seattle was particularly attractive to Fox, which owns some broadcasting rights for teams in the National Football Conference, where the Seattle Seahawks have played since 2002.
"This acquisition extends the reach of one of Fox's core businesses, our TV station portfolio, and further strengthens that of is already a very profitable and cash-generating business, "Fox Chief Executive Officer Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement Tuesday.
A spokesman for Fox Television Stations could not comment on whether Fox's acquisition of KCPQ and KZJO would lead to any changes in staff or in editorial content or coverage.
The agreement contains one of the longer chapters in local media history. Channel 13 hit the airwaves in 1953 as KMO-TV and went through a number of subsequent owners before being bought in 1998 by Tribune Media.
KZJO began life in 1985 as KTZZ and ended in 1999 as a duopoly with KCPQ by Tribune Media, which then owned both stations. It has been affiliated with Fox subsidiary MyNetworkTV since 2006.