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Heartland Media, LLC is an American media company that owns television stations in smaller markets in the United States. The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia. It operates the television broadcasting company USA Television MidAmerica Holdings, LLC as a joint venture alongside MSouth Equity Partners. The company is run by Bob Prather, a former CEO of Gray Television, whose philosophy of station acquisitions, acquired during his time at Gray, is centered on "acquiring No. 1-rated stations, Big Four affiliates with strong local news operations targeting university towns and state capitols that are deeply ingrained in the fabric of their communities".
Heartland Media made its first acquisition in 2013, when it acquired NBC affiliate WKTV in Utica, New York from Smith Media, which was the company's remaining television property. This was followed by the 2014 acquisition of Oregon-based Chambers Communications and its stations, KEZI in Eugene and KDRV in Medford, as well as the latter's satellite station in Klamath Falls, KDKF. Later that year, Heartland also acquired NBC affiliate WTVA in Tupelo, Mississippi, along with WTVA's shared services agreement with West Point-based Fox affiliate WLOV-TV (owned by Coastal Television).
In 2015, Heartland would acquire CBS affiliate KHSL-TV in Chico, California from GOCOM Media, LLC, in a deal that also concurrently saw the station's LMA partner, NBC affiliate KNVN, sold by K4 Media Holdings to Maxair Media, LLC, with KHSL selling up to 15 percent of KNVN's advertising time.
On August 26, 2016, Heartland agreed to acquire ABC affiliate WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Alabama from Calkins Media as that company sold the rest of its television stations to Raycom Media, who already owned WAFF in the market.
Acquisition of stations from Nexstar-Media GeneralEdit
On June 13, 2016, Heartland Media announced its acquisition of five small-market stations owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Media General for $115 million. The stations were sold to allow Nexstar to comply with FCC ownership rules as part of its acquisition of Media General, particularly in regards to national market coverage and rules forbidding duopolies in these markets, which are amongst the smallest in the United States.
Stations acquired by Heartland as part of the deal were:
- CBS affiliates WLFI-TV in West Lafayette, Indiana, WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana, and KIMT in Mason City, Iowa, all owned by Media General; in Terre Haute, Nexstar already owned NBC affiliate WTWO and operates ABC affiliate WAWV-TV, owned by Mission Broadcasting.
- Fox affiliate WFFT-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana, owned by Nexstar who planned to acquire Media General's CBS affiliate, WANE-TV.
- ABC affiliate KQTV in St. Joseph, Missouri, owned by Nexstar.
The deal was consummated upon the approval of Nexstar's merger with Media General on January 17.
Stations are arranged in alphabetical order by state and city of license.
|City of license / Market||Station||Channel
|Owned since||Network affiliation|
|Huntsville, Alabama||WAAY-TV||31 (32)||2017||ABC|
|Chico – Redding, California||KHSL-TV||12 (36)||2015||CBS|
The CW (DT2)
|Fort Wayne, Indiana||WFFT-TV||55 (36)||2017||Fox|
|West Lafayette, Indiana||WLFI-TV||18 (11)||2017||CBS|
The CW (DT2)
|Terre Haute, Indiana||WTHI-TV||10 (10)||2017||CBS|
The CW (DT3)
|Mason City, Iowa – Rochester, Minnesota||KIMT||3 (42)||2017||CBS|
|Saint Joseph, Missouri||KQTV||2 (7)||2017||ABC|
|Eugene, Oregon||KEZI||9 (9)||2014||ABC|
|Medford – Klamath Falls, Oregon||KDRV||12 (12)||2014||ABC|
(Satellite of KDRV)
|Tupelo – Columbus, Mississippi||WTVA||9 (8)||2015||NBC|
|Utica – Rome, New York||WKTV||2 (29)||2014||NBC|
The CW (DT3)
- 1 Owned by Maxair Media, LLC. Heartland operates the station under a shared services agreement (SSA).
- 2 Owned by Coastal Television Broadcasting Company LLC. Heartland operates the station under a shared services agreement.
- "HEARTLAND MEDIA AND MSOUTH EQUITY PARTNERS ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE FIVE STATIONS FROM NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP AND MEDIA GENERAL FOR $115,000,000" (PDF).
- "Prather Buys 5 TVs From Nexstar-Media Gen. | TVNewsCheck.com". www.tvnewscheck.com. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- "WKTV in place to be sold to Atlanta-based media company". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- "Prather Buying Three Oregon TVs for $30M | TVNewsCheck.com". www.tvnewscheck.com. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- "Heartland/Prather Acquire WTVA Tupelo for $18.7 Million | Broadcasting & Cable". www.broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- "New Owners For KHSL, KNVN Chico-Redding | TVNewsCheck.com". www.tvnewscheck.com. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
- "Application For Consent To Assignment Of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
- Nexstar Broadcasting Group Completes Acquisition of Media General Creating Nexstar Media Group, The Nation’s Second Largest Television Broadcaster Nexstar Media Group, 17 January, 2017. Retrieved 22 January, 2017.