Broadcaster planning statewide news bureau in Austin

kxanThe Texas-based company planning to buy local NBC affiliate KXAN and dozens of other TV stations nationwide will open a statewide news bureau in Austin if the deal goes through.

In an updated filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Irving-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. says its proposed acquisition of KXAN’s owner, Richmond, Va.-based Media General, would also give it the scale needed to open statewide news bureaus in two other states: New York and Tennessee.

In addition to KXAN, Media General also operates Austin CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO.

In Texas, once the acquisition is complete, Nexstar would have TV stations in Austin, Harlingen, Bryan/College Station, Waco, Tyler, Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Wichita Falls, Abilene and San Angelo. That would leave only three Texas TV markets – Houston, Dallas and San Antonio – without a Nexstar-owned station.

“These state news bureaus will empower stations to share news content regarding state political issues and matters of regional interest across all of Nexstar’s stations in the state, providing viewers with greater and more timely access to relevant information,” Nexstar says in its filing. “With modest financial contributions from all stations, these bureaus are economically viable and will provide content that would otherwise not be possible.”

Nexstar also indicates in documents that it will explore adding even more statewide news bureaus, including the possibility of ones in Alabama and Indiana.

The FCC is currently reviewing Nexstar’s plans to take over Media General’s stations. Before getting a green light, the companies will be required to divest stations in several markets where they have overlapping operations.

Author: Gary Dinges

Gary Dinges covers bars/restaurants, movies, music, radio and TV -- plus a bunch of other fun stuff -- for the Austin American-Statesman.

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