Feb 17, 2017 10:10 AM
WBIN-TV sold in FCC Auction; NH1 News to invest in new digital platforms
WBIN-TV announced today that it has been sold to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a recently completed auction. The total proceeds from the complex transaction are estimated to be nearly $100 million dollars.
In a process called the “Spectrum Auction”, the FCC is purchasing local TV stations and reselling their over-the-air rights, or spectrum, to mobile telephone and wireless communications companies. These airwaves will be used to create lightning fast 5G wireless internet.
WBIN-TV sold its television broadcast rights in the auction for $68.1 million dollars. Additionally, it entered into a sale of its remaining television license rights to a major television group for an undisclosed amount but estimated by insiders to be an additional $10-30 million dollars. The total proceeds from these transactions are estimated to be nearly $100 million dollars. WBIN-TV was purchased a little more than five years ago for $9 million dollars.
WBIN-TV and its television operations will cease broadcasting in the coming months. The proceeds from the sale will be used by the company to acquire other media assets in the digital, outdoor and radio areas as well as for continued investment in its 19 radio stations and its digital news web business NH1.com.
Bill Binnie, President of the company said, “I am incredibly proud of the people in our television, radio and digital media businesses. Many of our employees at WBIN-TV and NH1 News will be transferred to our new division. The sale of our television business makes strategic and financial sense. As a result of this sale, we will be making major new investments in our radio and digital businesses. We have the fastest growing news web site in the state NH1.com with millions of page views per month and we will invest heavily in this area. Our 19 radio stations have experienced huge ratings increases and revenue growth. What we have achieved as a media business in the State of New Hampshire in the last few years is incredible.”
Binnie went on to say, “The deal makes WBIN-TV one of the most valuable media properties in the history of New Hampshire media. The FCC commenced the biggest assembly of airwaves to connect and build a nationwide mobile platform for handheld and wireless devices. We recognized it and will reinvest the proceeds with an eye to future growth. Our commitment to New Hampshire and local news has never been stronger. We look forward to a bright future.”
Robb Atkinson will now be the General Manager of the newly expanded NH1 News digital business, which includes NH1.com and NH1 Radio News.
Atkinson said, “NH1 Radio News and NH1.com will continue to provide breaking news and information to our viewers and listeners. We are investing significantly in new technologies so we can deliver content where people want it--digitally--on their mobile phones and devices, tablets and home computers. The days of running home to watch news on a television set are quickly disappearing.”
NH1 News Network began broadcasting on WBIN-TV in September 2014. Since that time, the organization has been nominated for four Emmy Awards and has won several highly prestigious awards from the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.
The company also recently purchased two radio stations 98.7 FM The Bay and WTSN 98.1 FM/1270 AM in the Seacoast area and announced plans to acquire additional radio assets. The company owns 19 radio stations, as well as outdoor and digital news platforms including NH1.com. Binnie Media is headquartered in an award-winning historic building in Concord, New Hampshire.