Williams Purchases TV Stations

Veteran media producer and conservative commentator Armstrong Williams has entered the realm of media ownership with his company’s acquisition of two television stations, as part of a larger $370 million TV acquisition deal announced by Sinclair Broadcasting Thursday.

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Howard Stirk Acquires KVMY Las Vegas

Howard Stirk Holdings has agreed to acquire KVMY, the Las Vegas MyNetworkTV affiliate, for $150,000. Armstrong Williams is the principal at Howard Stirk, which is closely aligned with Sinclair. The price reflects $25,000 for the equity assets, including the FCC license, and $125,000 for the transmission assets.

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Howard Stirk Holdings Grabs WCIV for $50,000

Howard Stirk Holdings, run by Armstrong Williams, has agreed to acquire WCIV Charleston for $50,000. Sinclair picked up WCIV, an ABC affiliate, when it acquired Allbritton. While Howard Stirk is acquiring the license, among other assets, it and Sinclair will share some aspects related to the station, and Sinclair will provide services.

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Television Station Ownership

 Armstrong Williams talked about the impact of a March 31, 2014, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling that television station owners cannot control more than one station in the same local market via the use of joint sales agreements and shared services agreements, often known as “sidecar” deals. Mr. Armstrong, who owns two TV stations through a sidecar agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting, argued that the ruling could cause minority owners, and small station owners more generally, to be forced out of existence. The program began with a telephone interview with Gautham Nagesh, about the FCC ruling.

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FCC Doublespeak: Saying One Thing and Doing Another

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 specifies that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) "shall" review its broadcast ownership rules every four years, "determine if” those rules are necessary in the public interest as the result of competition, and "repeal or modify” any regulation determined to no longer be in the public interest.

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