Scripps sells WPIX New York to Mission Broadcasting

(Image: WPIX/E.W. Scripps, Graphic: The Desk)

The E.W. Scripps company has sold its flagship New York City station WPIX-TV to rival broadcaster Mission Brodacasting for $75 million, the companies announced on Monday.

WPIX has traded hands a few times: The station was owned by Tribune Broadcasting until last year when its stations were acquired by Nexstar Media Group. To satisfy federal regulators, Nexstar divested a handful of former Tribune stations to competitors; Scripps emerged as the buyer for WPIX and seven other stations in September 2019.

As a condition of purchase, Scripps gave Nexstar the option to re-purchase WPIX from March of this year through the end of next year. On Monday, Scripps said it had transferred that purchase option to Mission Broadcasting.

Mission owns nearly two dozen television stations across the country, and all are located in markets where Nexstar also owns a station. With the exception of WPIX, all of Mission’s statements are run by Nexstar under shared services agreements, an arrangement that blurs the lines between a station’s owner and its true operator.

It was not immediately clear if Nexstar, one of the largest operators of local broadcast stations in the country, would assume control of WPIX through a similar agreement with Mission.