Cox selling 18 stations

By MixDex Article may include affiliate links

Cox Media Group has announced plans to sell 18 of its TV stations to conservative cable network INSP.

Imagicomm Communications, which is owned by INSP will acquire the stations for an undisclosed amount.

Included in the sale are KLAX in Alexandria, Louisiana, WICZ in Binghamton, New York, KIEM and KVIG in Eureka, California, WABG, WNBD and WXVT in Greenwood, Mississippi, KPVI in Idaho Falls, Idaho, KMVU and KFBI in Medford, Oregon, WHBQ in Memphis, KAYU in Spokane, Washington, WSYT in Syracuse, New York, KOKI and KMYT in Tulsa, Oklahoma, KCYU and KFFX in Yakima, Washington and KYMA in Yuma, Arizona.

Many of the stations are in small markets, with a handful in mid-sized markets.

Cox will notably retain its larger stations in mostly larger markets, including WSB in Atlanta, WFTV and WRDQ in Orlando, Florida, WFOX and WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida, WSOC in Charlotte, North Carolina, WPXI in Pittsburgh, and KIRO in Seattle.

Cox is not selling its radio assets to INSP, which will mean that it will no longer own both TV and radio stations in some markets. In some cases, the stations share facilities.

INSP is a cable network formerly known as The Inspiration Network. It is a socially conservative network that airs family entertainment consisting mostly of repeats of classic westerns. It also carries religious programming.

INSP has roots in the PTL Network, the broadcasting venture founded by televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker in 1978.

This will be INSP’s first foray into local broadcast television and means it will also be taking over local newsrooms in many markets.

“We look forward to working with the stations’ talented staff and building upon their rich legacy of journalism and serving their communities, advertisers and audiences. This acquisition is part of our broad corporate strategy to expand our media ownership across multiple entertainment platforms,” said David Cerullo, chairman and CEO of INSP, in a statement.

“These are important local journalism and community service brands powered by incredible media professionals and journalists who work tirelessly to inform, entertain and elevate the communities they serve,” said CMG’s President and CEO Dan York in the statement. “We are pleased to advance the strategic evolution of our portfolio, are proud of our team members at these stations, and are confident they will continue to excel in their important work as part of the Imagicomm INSP family.”