Armstrong Williams Purchases TV Stations

Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 05:42 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Veteran media producer and conservative commentator Armstrong Williams has entered the realm of media ownership with his company’s acquisition of two television stations, as part of a larger $370 million TV acquisition deal announced by Sinclair Broadcasting Thursday.

Howard Stirk Holdings, LLC, owned by Williams, stated Thursday that it has completed negotiations to acquire TV stations in Flint, Mich., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Stirk Holdings acquisitions were announced simultaneous to Sinclair Broadcast Group’s purchase of Barrington Broadcasting Group.

Sinclair bought the broadcast assets of 18 television stations owned by Barrington for $370 million, and is entering into agreements to operate or provide sales services to another six stations.

The deal reinforces Sinclair’s position as the nation’s largest independent owner of broadcast TV stations. Currently, Sinclair owns and operates programs or provides sales services to 87 television stations in 47 markets, reaching about 27 percent of U.S. television households.

Williams has worked with Sinclair for years.

“I always wanted to go from producing content to ownership,” Williams told Newsmax.
“This is such a reflective day for me because I understand that there is a lack of what would be considered to be minority ownership in America. I cannot ignore the history of Americans who happen to be black in this country.

“This deal goes to show what we can achieve if we work hard, we get a good education, we dedicate ourselves to a life of professionalism and excellence and maintaining good relationships, and you get a break. Sinclair Broadcast Group gave us a break. Without Sinclair it would not have been possible.”

Williams has been producing and hosting public affairs and entertainment programming for the broadcast industry, including for Sinclair, for more than 20 years. He served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Renaissance TV Cable Network from 2001 to 2003, where he managed staff, programming, advertising, and the development of prime-time specials.

Williams has been a frequent guest on national programs and networks, including the “Today” show, “Good Morning America,” “Charlie Rose,” CNN, MSNBC, Sky News, and DC TV. He has also produced many prime-time specials with national and international leaders, such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, poet Maya Angelou, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Williams is a member of the Newsmax Advisory Board and his blog is published on Newsmax.com.

“Today’s announcement fulfills a life-long dream to own and operate broadcast facilities and give back to an industry that I love,” Williams said in a statement. “Many in the industry talk about diversity and expanding opportunity, but here the Sinclair Broadcast Group is putting words into action.”

The name “Howard Stirk” is taken from Williams’ mother’s maiden name, Howard, and his father’s middle name, Stirk. “Knowing the humble, hard-scrabble beginnings of my family in rural South Carolina, I felt honoring my parents in this small way was the right thing to do,” he said.

The new acquisitions are subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and antitrust authorities. Howard Stirk Holdings anticipates a closing by the summer.


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