‘Nexstar Lied’: Minority-owned Broadcast Group Accuses TV Giant of Misleading FCC

A minority-owned broadcasting group is accusing an Irving TV station operator of using it to mislead federal regulators and deliberately undermining its operations in Texas, Louisiana and Iowa.Marshall Broadcasting Group Inc. made the allegations against Nexstar Broadcasting Inc. in a complaint filed last week with the Federal Communications Commission. The dispute stems from Nexstar’s 2014 sale of three stations, including KPEJ-TV in Odessa, to MBG for $58 million.Nexstar sold the stations to curry favor with the commission but failed to deliver on its promises to MBG, according to the complaint. It said Nexstar interfered in MBG’s ability to operate independently of what is now the nation’s largest largest distributor of local TV news.“Nexstar lied to the commission, they lied to the Congressional Black Caucus and they lied to us that they would allow us to operate these stations,” said Pluria Marshall Jr., MBG’s general manager, in an interview with The Dallas Morning News.Independence was a crucial element of the FCC’s approval of Nexstar’s sale of the stations. Nexstar, which has grown dramatically through acquisitions, needed to sell off the three stations acquired in another deal to avoid owning multiple affiliates in the same market.Nexstar Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group Inc., said in a statement that the claims are “without merit.”“The company intends to vigorously defend itself regarding this matter in a court of law and before the FCC,” Nexstar said in the statement.  Continue reading...

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