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Scripps closes acquisition of 15 TV stations, including KPAX and KAJ

Posted at 2:24 PM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 10:46:34-04

-Kari Wethington reporting for Scripps Communications

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The E.W. Scripps Company has closed its acquisition of 15 television stations in 10 markets from Cordillera Communications, including KPAX in Missoula and KAJ in Kalispell.

The acquisition grows the Scripps local television station footprint to 52 stations in 36 markets with a reach of nearly 21 percent of U.S. TV households.

The Cordillera stations diversify Scripps’ affiliate relationships, adding more NBC and CBS stations to the company’s strong ABC roster.

“I’m excited from a resource opportunity. They have about ten times more stations than our past ownership did so I think our ability to access resources will be much enhanced,” KPAX and KAJ General Manager Bob Hermes said.

“I’m excited from a manager’s standpoint and from a local news standpoint. We’ll be benefiting greatly from the resources so that’s really exciting and I’m really looking forward to the future with them,” he added.

Scripps operates 60 television stations in 42 markets, making it the nation’s fourth-largest broadcaster and reaches 30% of U.S. TV households.

RELATED: Cordillera announces sale of stations to Scripps, Quincy

The stations joining Scripps’ television portfolio today are:

• WLEX, the NBC affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky
• KOAA, the NBC affiliate in Colorado Springs, Colorado
• KATC, the ABC affiliate in Lafayette, Louisiana
• KSBY, the NBC affiliate in Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo, California
• KRIS, the NBC affiliate, and KAJA, a Telemundo affiliate, in Corpus Christi, Texas
• KPAX and KAJ, the CBS affiliates in Missoula, Montana
• KTVQ, the CBS affiliate in Billings, Montana
• KXLF and KBZK, the CBS affiliates in Butte-Bozeman, Montana
• KRTV, the CBS affiliate, and KTGF, the NBC affiliate, in Great Falls, Montana
• KTVH, the NBC affiliate, and KXLH, the CBS affiliate, in Helena, Montana

“This acquisition furthers Scripps’ strategies to increase the financial durability and operating performance of our broadcast portfolio,” said Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media. “We welcome these stations’ employees to the Scripps team and look forward to working together to continue our strong commitment to journalism and serving local communities.”

Scripps also recently announced the acquisition of eight TV stations in seven markets from the Nexstar-Tribune merger divestitures. When that transaction is complete, Scripps will operate 60 television stations in 42 markets, making it the nation’s fourth-largest broadcaster and reaching 30 percent of U.S. TV households.