Bonten, Landmark WTVF-TV Deal Falls Through

A casualty of the credit markets crunch, Bonten Media Group’s deal to buy WTVF-TV, the CBS affiliate in Nashville, Tenn. from Landmark Media Enterprises for $209 million has fallen through. Bonten notified Landmark that it would not be able to close the acquisition on time due to financing issues.

“We are disappointed we will not be able to complete the acquisition of this fine television station,” said Randall Bongarten, chairman and CEO of Bonten Media Group, which announced the deal in July. “Unfortunately, credit markets around the world have seriously deteriorated following the failure of Lehman Brothers, through whom we had arranged financing for the acquisition. Despite vigorous efforts, we have not been able to replace the Lehman Brothers commitment.”

Decker Anstrom, president of Landmark, also expressed disappointment, but said the company would continue to operate and invest in the station.    

Bonten, formed in November 2006 by Diamond Castle Holdings, still intends to pursue acquisitions as the credit conditions improve, the company said.