Hearst is acquiring WBBH-TV, an NBC affiliate that serves the Fort Myers and Naples, Florida communities, from Waterman Broadcasting Corporation. Terms were not disclosed.
The transaction, announced Wednesday by Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst, and Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television Inc., is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals.
The Fort Myers-Naples area is the 55th-largest television market in the United States.
Hearst will also assume Waterman Broadcasting’s programming relationship with Montclair Communications, Inc., owner of WZVN-TV, the market’s ABC affiliate.
In addition, Hearst owns:
- WESH-TV and WKCF-TV, the NBC and CW affiliates in Orlando
- WPBF-TV, the ABC affiliate serving the West Palm Beach television market
- WMOR-TV, an independent television station in Tampa-St. Petersburg.
The WBBH-TV transaction “provides an excellent strategic fit for our company and underscores our commitment to local television broadcasting and to leadership in our television markets across the country,” Swartz says.
"The decision to sell WBBH is challenging and emotional," states Edith B. Waterman, president of Waterman Broadcasting.
WBBH-TV went on the air in December 1968.
Hearst Television owns 33 television and
two radio stations serving 26 media markets in 39 states.