Nexstar Could Lose WPIX-TV in New York, Fined $1.2M by FCC

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The Federal Communications Commission has determined that Nexstar Media Group’s acquisition of WPIX-TV in New York violated federal station ownership limits. The FCC issued a ruling ordering Nexstar’s partner, Mission Broadcasting, to sell the station or make adjustments to remain within ownership caps. Nexstar faces a $1.2 million fine for the violation, and the company has vowed to vigorously dispute the decision, emphasizing their compliance with FCC regulations.

WPIX, a longstanding New York media staple, became a CW affiliate in 2006 and has been operated by Nexstar under a local marketing agreement with Mission since 2020. The FCC accused Nexstar of an unauthorized transfer of control and exceeding the cap on the percentage of U.S. TV households reached by a single owner. CEO Perry Sook expressed extreme disappointment and intends to challenge the ruling, emphasizing the importance of joint operating agreements in maintaining a competitive media marketplace and supporting local news and services.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stressed the agency’s responsibility to enforce ownership regulations, while Republican commissioner Brendan Carr highlighted the need to consider prior FCC decisions and ensure that any remedies are appropriate. The contentious decision underscores the ongoing debate around ownership rules in the local TV sector and the challenges of consolidation in the media landscape.nexstar responded by vowing to “vigorously” dispute the decision.

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