WAVY-TV, virtual channel 10 (UHF digital channel 31), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Portsmouth, Virginia, United States, serving the Hampton Roads area of southeastern Virginia (comprising the cities of Portsmouth, Norfolk, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Hampton and environs), and the Outer Banks region of northeastern North Carolina. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group, as part of a duopoly with Virginia Beach-licensed Fox affiliate WVBT (channel 43). The two stations share studios on Wavy Street in downtown Portsmouth; WAVY-TV's transmitter is located in the Driver neighborhood of Suffolk, Virginia.
History[edit | edit source]
WAVY-TV, the Hampton Roads area's third-oldest television station, began operations on September 1, 1957. It was originally owned by Tidewater Teleradio along with WAVY radio (1350 AM, now WGPL). It originally signed-on as an ABC affiliate but traded network affiliations with NBC affiliate WVEC-TV (channel 13) in 1958 due to its radio sister's long affiliation with NBC radio. In 1968, it became the second station owned by what was then known as LIN Broadcasting.
In April 1989, WAVY-TV moved into its current studio, located on Wavy Street in downtown Portsmouth. The station previously broadcast from a former farmers market on Middle Street, also in downtown Portsmouth. The Wavy Street studio is located across the street from the nTelos Wireless Pavilion and near or across the street from the Elizabeth River.
Shortly after WVBT became the area's WB affiliate in 1995, WAVY began operating that station though a local marketing agreement (LMA). LIN TV came to an affiliation agreement with Fox in November 1995, and WVBT took the affiliation from original Fox affiliate WTVZ (channel 33) in 1998. LIN TV purchased that station out-right in February 2002. WAVY was the first in the market to broadcast a digital signal in 2001.
On March 21, 2014, Richmond-based Media General announced that it would buy LIN Media in a $1.6 billion deal, described as a "merger." The merger was completed on December 19, at which point WAVY and WVBT came under common ownership with ABC affiliate WRIC-TV in Petersburg (serving the Richmond market).
On September 8, 2015, Media General announced that it would acquire the Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith Corporation for $2.4 billion with the intention to name the combined group Meredith Media General if the sale were finalized. However, on September 28, Irving, Texas-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group made an unsolicited cash-and-stock merger offer for Media General, originally valued at $14.50 per share. On November 16, following opposition to the merger with Meredith by minority shareholders Oppenheimer Holdings and Starboard Capital (primarily because Meredith's magazine properties were included in the deal, which would have re-entered Media General into publishing after it sold its newspapers to BH Media in 2012 to reduce debt) and the rejection of Nexstar's initial offer by company management, Media General agreed to enter into negotiations with Nexstar on a suitable counter deal, while the Meredith merger proposal remained active; the two eventually concluded negotiations on January 6, 2016, reaching a merger agreement for valued at $17.14 per share (an evaluation of $4.6 billion, plus the assumption of $2.3 billion debt).
On January 27, Meredith formally broke off the proposed merger with Media General and accepted the termination fee of $60 million previously negotiated under the original merger proposal; Media General subsequently signed an agreement to be acquired by Nexstar, in exchange for giving Meredith right of first refusal to acquire any broadcast or digital properties that may be divested (a clause that Meredith did not exercise). The transaction was approved by the FCC on January 11, 2017; the sale was completed on January 17, at which point the existing Nexstar stations and the former Media General outlets that neither group had to sell in order to rectify ownership conflicts in certain markets became part of the renamed Nexstar Media Group; this brought WAVY-TV and WVBT under common ownership with the Roanoke duopoly of Fox affiliate WFXR and CW affiliate WWCW (which necessitated Media General to sell its NBC-affiliated station in that market, WSLS-TV, to Graham Media Group in order to alleviate said ownership conflict with the two existing Nexstar-owned stations).
On December 3, 2018, Nexstar announced it would acquire the assets of Chicago-based Tribune Media—which has operated CBS affiliate WTKR (channel 3) and CW affiliate WGNT (channel 27) through a shared services agreement with partner company Dreamcatcher Broadcasting since December 2013—for $6.4 billion in cash and debt. Nexstar is precluded from acquiring WTKR and WGNT directly or indirectly, as FCC regulations prohibit common ownership of more than two stations in the same media market, or two or more of the four highest-rated stations in the market. (WAVY and WTKR consistently rank among the top four in terms of total-day viewership in the Norfolk–Virginia Beach–Hampton Roads market, while WVBT and WGNT have occasionally rotated between fourth and fifth place, a situation that allowed for Media General and, later, Nexstar to acquire WVBT directly in their respective group acquisitions involving the WAVY/WVBT duopoly. Furthermore, any attempt by Nexstar to assume the operations of WTKR/WGNT through local marketing or shared services agreements may be subject to regulatory hurdles that could delay completion of the FCC and Justice Department's review and approval process for the acquisition.) As such, Nexstar will be required to sell two of the stations (and potentially, depending on its ratings status during the acquisition review, WVBT, either sold alongside WAVY or spun off to an independent buyer) to a separate, unrelated company to address the ownership conflict. On January 31, 2019, Nexstar announced it will retain the WAVY/WVBT duopoly and sell WTKR and WGNT to a different buyer.
|TV stations in Commonwealth of Virginia|
|WAVY, Hampton Roads/Norfolk|
|TV stations in the Hampton Roads region, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News, Virginia|
|WUND 2 (PBS) |
WTKR 3 (CBS)
WSKY 4 (Ind)
WGBS-LD 7 (RTV)
WAVY 10 (NBC)
WVEC 13 (ABC)
W14DC 14 (HSN2)
WHRO 15 (PBS)
WYSJ-CA 19 (Classic TV)
WTPC 21 (TBN)
WVAD-LD 25 (Daystar)
WGNT 27 (CW)
WTVZ 33 (MNTV)
WJGN-CD 38 (NRB)
WVBT 43 (Fox)
WPXV 49 (Ion)