Boston Ventures and Alta Communications sell TV stations

The platform company formed in a joint venture of the two Boston firms has sold two CBS affiliates for a total of $101 million.

Television Station Group Holdings, a joint venture of private equity firms Boston Ventures and Alta Communications, has sold two CBS affiliates to media companies.

The first, WTAJ Channel 10 in the Altoona/Johnstown market in Pennsylvania, was sold to Nextar Broadcasting Group for $56 million (€44 million). The second, WBNG Channel 12 in Binghamton, New York, was sold to Granite Broadcasting Corporation for $45 million.

Both stations were acquired by the TV Group Holdings joint venture upon its formation in 2001.  At that time, the group also purchased WOWK in Charleston, West Virgina. That station was sold in 2002 to Cary Communications for an undisclosed amount.

Both of the media groups involved in this week’s deal are looking to expand their presence in their respective markets and consolidate their media holdings.

“The acquisition is also consistent with our clustering strategy whereby we seek to operate multiple stations in our concentrated geographic regions,” Nextar president Perry Sook said in a statement.

As part of the deal, Nexstar will also acquire the license, certain assets and contracts of WLYH-TV, the UPN affiliate serving the Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon/York, Pennylvania market. With the two additional stations, Nexstar will operate four stations in Pennsylvania, where it also owns NBC affiliate WBRE, and CBS affiliate WYOU in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market.

Similarly, Granite Broadcasting owns stations in other upstate New York markets including Syracuse and Buffalo.

Boston Ventures invests in the media, entertainment, publishing and information sectors. Its past investments have included News Corporation, The National Enquirer, River City Broadcasting, Panavision and Motown Records. Current portfolio companies include TV station owner Smith Media and radio station company Radio Backyard Broadcasting.

Alta Communications also invests in media companies. Current companies in its portfolio include TV station owners Grant Television, JW Broadcasting and Civic Communications.