Viacom Buys TV Stations in West Palm Beach

NEW YORK Viacom said it will increase its footprint in South Florida through its acquisition of low-power television stations WWHB-CA and WTCN-CA in West Palm Beach from American Netcom.

The deal will give Viacom, which currently owns WTVX, the company’s UPN and WB affiliate, a triopoly in the nation’s 39th largest TV market. WTCN is an independent station and WWHB is a Spanish-language Azteca affiliate. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Viacom intends to leverage efficiencies across all its South Florida stations, which includes two stations in nearby Miami, WFOR, the company’s owned-and-operated CBS station, and WBFS, its UPN O&O.

“West Palm Beach is one of the fastest growing markets in the country. By leveraging resources of our stations already in South Florida, we can provide viewers in West Palm Beach with better, more robust programming while also expanding our coverage of events of local interest,” said Fred Reynolds, president and CEO of Viacom Television Stations Group, in announcing the deal.

Brien Kennedy, vp and general manager of WTVX, who reports to Michael Colleran, president and gm of Viacom’s South Florida stations in West Palm and Miami, will manage the three West Palm stations.

Although the deal is subject to FCC approval, Viacom is unlikely to face any regulatory hurdles since low-power TV stations do not count against local ownership caps.