In a series of transactions totaling nearly $100 million, Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting has acquired two stations serving the New York market as affiliates for the company’s MeTV digital networks.
Weigel officials confirmed Tuesday they bought WJLP, which has been the outlet for MeTV in New York since 2014. The $62.5 million deal will transfer ownership of the station from New Jersey-based PMCM TV, LLC.
“The acquisition of WJLP, a MeTV affiliate, is a unique, strategic opportunity that fits Weigel’s growing platform to support its various networks,” said Norman Shapiro, chairman of the company his family has owned since 1965. He declined further comment on the deal.
In July Weigel paid $35 million for WZME, a station licensed to Bridgeport, Connecticut, that also covers the New York area. It’s now an outlet for Weigel’s new MeTV Plus digital network.
Together they form a powerful duopoly in the nation’s No. 1 market and continue an under-the-radar expansion that recently included purchases in Houston, Seattle and several other large markets, according to NorthEast Radio Watch.
In addition to MeTV, its “Memorable Entertainment Television” franchise of classic programming, Weigel’s broadcast networks include Heroes & Icons, Start TV, Decades and Movies! Along with its flagship Chicago property, CW affiliate WCIU-Channel 26, the company also owns a growing stable of local stations across the country.
MeTV rolled out as a national network in 2010 and now boasts more than 175 affiliates covering more than 96 percent of the country. It routinely ranks among the top five cable networks nationwide.
In 2015 Weigel extended the MeTV brand to radio with the launch of soft-rock oldies MeTV FM on a low-power analog station at 87.7 FM.