Open main menu

American Spirit Media

American Spirit Media, LLC is a broadcasting company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded by Thomas B. Henson in 2003 as Ottumwa Media Holdings, it owns television stations in several cities in the Southeastern United States.[1]

American Spirit Media, LLC
Ottumwa Media Holdings, LLC
Industry Broadcast media
Founded 2003; 15 years ago (2003)
Headquarters Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Owner Thomas B. Henson



In 2003, Raycom Media acquired the Waitt Media stations (that included KYOU-TV in the Ottumwa, Iowa DMA). As Raycom already owned KTVO (licensed in Kirksville, Missouri, on the same DMA) and it could not legally keep both stations because the market has too few channels to legally permit a duopoly, KYOU was sold to then named Ottumwa Media Holdings (created on that year) for $4 million. The company entered into a shared services agreement and studio lease agreement with Raycom to operate KYOU and Raycom would have an option to purchase KYOU.[2]

In August 2006, Ottumwa Media Holdings changed its name to American Spirit Media.[1] On the same month, in August 11, KTVO was sold to Barrington Broadcasting as part of a $262 million deal for twelve stations,[3] however Raycom retained its shared services agreement with KYOU.

In 2011, Community Newspaper Holdings sold Southern Media Holdings and its 4 stations to Thomas Henson (which later transferred in the same year its shares to American Spirit Media, which he owns) for $24 million and the assumption of $50 million in debt.[4][5]

On January 11, 2012, it was reported that LIN Media would sell WUPW to American Spirit Media for $22 million.[6] As part of the acquisition, WUPW entered into a shared services agreement with Raycom's WTOL.[7] The acquisition was completed on April 20, 2012.[8]

In July 2012, the company agreed to acquire WDBD and WXMS-LP from Roundtable Broadcasting. As part of the deal, the station's operations would be taken over by Raycom's WLBT. American Spirit also agreed to acquire WUFX and WBMS-CA from Vicksburg Broadcasting, but spin off the WUFX license to Tougaloo College for $1 (though it will operate that station under a joint sales agreement).[9] Both transactions were consummated on November 13.[10][11]

On November 27, 2013, American Spirit Media announced it would acquire KFVE and its satellites KGMV and KGMD-TV from MCG Capital Corporation.[12] The stations are currently owned by MCG and operated by Raycom Media. A lawsuit was filed by Media Council Hawaii in 2014 to halt the transfer to American Spirit Media; consequently, as of January 31, 2016, the deal has yet to be consummated.[13]

In August 2015, as a result of Raycom Media's purchase of Drewry Communications; Hoak Media sold Wichita Falls, Texas'-based KAUZ-TV to American Spirit Media. KSWO-TV (acquired by Raycom from Drewry) and KAUZ remained jointly operated, but the joint sales agreement between with KAUZ would be terminated upon the sale's closure due to FCC rules prohibiting such agreements by counting the sale of 15% or more of advertising time by one station to a competing junior partner station in the JSA as a duopoly in violation with the agency's ownership rules (the Wichita Falls-Lawton market has only four full-power television stations, four fewer than that allowed to legally form a duopoly); upon the JSA's termination, Raycom would enter into a shared services agreement with KAUZ, under which KSWO would handle news production, administrative and production operations, and equipment and building space for that station.[14][15] The sale was completed on December 1.[16]

On March 10, 2016, American Spirit's KVHP License Subsidiary, LLC acquired Lake Charles' KVHP for $2 million.[17][18] After close its purchase on August 15,[19] American Spirit entered into a shared services agreement and studio lease agreement with Raycom's KPLC to operate KVHP.[20]


The company owns or operates nine stations, which all but one are operated by Raycom Media through shared services and/or joint sales agreements.

City of license / Market Station Channel
Owned Since Network Affiliation
Columbus, GA WXTX 54 (49) 2011 Fox
Movies! (DT2)
Escape (DT3)
Ottumwa, IA KYOU-TV 15 (15) 2003 Fox
Lake Charles, LA KVHP 29 (30) 2016 Fox
Jackson, MS WDBD 40 (40) 2012 Fox
WLOO 35 (41) 1 MyNetworkTV
Wilmington, NC WSFX-TV 26 (30) 2011 Fox
Toledo, OH WUPW 36 (46) 2012 Fox
Wichita Falls, TX KAUZ-TV 6 (22) 2015 CBS
The CW Plus (DT2)
Richmond, VA WUPV 65 (47) 2011 The CW
  • 1 Owned by Tougaloo College, American Spirit Media operates WLOO through a joint services agreement.

Carriage disputesEdit

2017–18 dispute with DirecTV and AT&T U-verseEdit

Under U.S. federal law, cable and satellite providers may not carry over-the-air stations on their systems without the consent of each stations' signal owners. American Spirit Media failed to renew its retransmission contract with DirecTV/AT&T U-verse upon its expiration on August 31, 2017. After a three-week extension period passed with both parties failing to agree on a new contract, American Spirit Media withdrew permission for DirecTV/AT&T U-verse to retransmit the signals of its stations as of 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 21.[21] The dispute lasted for four months before a resolution was reached on January 30, 2018.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Company Overview of American Spirit Media, LLC". BusinessWeek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  2. ^ September 2003 -
  3. ^ Barrington and Raycom Announce Completion of Transaction for Twelve Television Stations - Business Wire
  4. ^ Community Newspaper Selling 4 Stations - TvNewsCheck
  5. ^ Application for Consent to Assign Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License, or to Transfer Control of Entity Holding Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License - Federal Communications Commission
  6. ^ Malone, Michael. "LIN Deals Toledo Fox Affiliate to American Spirit". Broadcasting and Cable. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  7. ^ "LIN spins Toledo TV to Raycom partner". Television Business Report. January 11, 2012. Archived from the original on January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Baird, Kirk. "TV news merger moving forward". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  9. ^ Seyler, Dave (August 1, 2012). "TV dealings in the Jackson MS market". Television Business Report. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^
  14. ^ Harry A. Jessell (August 10, 2015). "Raycom Buying Drewry For $160 Million". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  15. ^ Lynn Walker (August 11, 2015). "KAUZ, KSWO to change ownership". Wichita Falls Times-Record News. Journal Media Group. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  16. ^ Raycom Media Completes $160 Million Acquisition of Drewry Communications Broadcasting & Cable, Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  17. ^ Asset Purchase Agreement, part 1 - Federal Communications Commission
  18. ^ Asset Purchase Agreement, part 2 - Federal Communications Commission
  19. ^ Consummation Notice - Federal Communications Commission
  20. ^ Shared Services Agreement and Leases - Federal Communications Commission
  21. ^ Farrell, Michael (September 22, 2017). "American Spirit Media Stations Go Dark to DirecTV".
  22. ^ "AT&T/DirecTV end feud with local Fox 40 owner". Clarion Ledger. January 30, 2018.

External linksEdit