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FCC Approves WADL Sale with Conditions

April 26, 2024

After a nearly 11 month wait, the FCC this week approved the sale of Adell Broadcasting's WADL-TV (Detroit) to Mission Broadcasting, Inc.  The $75 million deal has been held up with petitions to deny from various groups as well as the FCC's own concern about Mission's relationship with Nexstar Media Group Inc. The approval comes with several conditions, including that Texas-based Mission financially separate itself from Nexstar.

With the sale of WADL to Mission, it is speculated that the CW Network, now on Scripps' WMYD-TV, will move back to WADL.  Scripps recently announced that the CW will no longer be housed on WMYD-TV at the end of August after seven E.W. Scripps-owned stations nationwide, including WMYD, decided to not renew their agreements to carry the network.  The CW Network is 75% owned by Nexstar.

It is not clear at this point how the conditions put forth by the Commission will affect the closing as well as the operational and programming plans of WADL.

Adell Broadcasting owner Kevin Adell told the Detroit News, ""I haven't been this happy since my Bar Mitzvah," Adell said, adding that the news came as such a surprise "I nearly fell out of my chair."

The acquisition of WADL is Mission's second entry into the state of Michigan; the broadcast group also owns WLAJ-TV, the ABC affiliate serving Lansing, Michigan, the state's capital.  WLAJ maintains a shared services agreement (SSA) with Nexstar Media Group, owner of CBS affiliate WLNS-TV.

The complete FCC notice on the sale can be found here.

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