Charlotte TV station that broadcasts Panthers NFL games has agreed to be sold

Fox TV has agreed to sell Fox46 WJZY and another Charlotte TV station to a Texas-based media giant, reaping a potential $27 million profit based on what it originally paid for the channels.

Nexstar Media Group announced this week that the company has agreed to pay Fox nearly $45 million in cash for WJZY and MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYT, which is licensed in South Carolina.

In 2013, Fox bought WJZY (Channel 46) and WMYT (Channel 55) for $18 million from Raleigh-based Capitol Broadcasting, The Charlotte Observer reported at the time.

The Charlotte stations “represent excellent complements to our already strong mid-Atlantic presence and will benefit from our local news and other programming resources,” Nexstar President and CEO Perry Sook said in a news release.

The Federal Communications Commission must approve the sales, which Nexstar expects to close in the first half of 2020, according to the company news release.

Neither Fox nor Nexstar would say whether any programs or the Panthers broadcasts would change. Under new ownership, the station could continue to televise Panthers games in Charlotte via a Fox agreement.

“The purchase won’t close until next year, and it is premature for us to comment on any aspect of the station(s) while it is owned by FOX,” Nexstar spokesman Gary Weitman told the Observer in an email.

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WJZY general manager Mike Lewis did not respond to a request for comment from the Observer.

As part of its announcement to buy WJZY and WMYT, Nexstar said it “will divest to Fox the Seattle Fox affiliate KCPQ and MyNetworkTV affiliate KZJO and the Milwaukee Fox affiliate WITI for approximately $350 million in cash.”

On its website, nexstar.tv, Nexstar Media Group bills itself as “America’s largest local television and media company.” Nexstar owns and operates 197 stations in 115 markets, reaching approximately 39% of all U.S. television households.

Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.