Local marketing agreement

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In North American broadcasting, a local marketing agreement (LMA), or local management agreement, is a contract in which one company agrees to operate a radio or television station owned by another party.wikipedia
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Sinclair Broadcast Group

SinclairSinclair Broadcasting GroupSinclair Broadcasting
The change in stance also prompted changes to then-proposed acquisitions by Gray Television and Sinclair Broadcast Group, who, rather than use sharing agreements to control them, moved their existing programming and network affiliations to digital subchannels of existing company-owned stations in the market, or a low-power station (which are not subject to ownership caps), and then relinquished control over the original stations by selling their licenses to third-parties, such as minority-owned broadcasters
Sinclair has also faced criticism over business practices that circumvent concentration of media ownership regulations, particularly the use of local marketing agreements, accusations that the company had been currying favor with the Trump administration in order to loosen these rules and about its management lacking diversity and being totally controlled by a single family.

Gray Television

CircleGrayGray Communications
The change in stance also prompted changes to then-proposed acquisitions by Gray Television and Sinclair Broadcast Group, who, rather than use sharing agreements to control them, moved their existing programming and network affiliations to digital subchannels of existing company-owned stations in the market, or a low-power station (which are not subject to ownership caps), and then relinquished control over the original stations by selling their licenses to third-parties, such as minority-owned broadcasters
However, some stations were forced to go off the air and their programming was moved to a multicast stream on adjacent channels, due to some stations unable to receive regulatory approval, after the FCC's ruling on joint sales agreements.

Cunningham Broadcasting

itsGlencairn, Ltd.Glencairn Ltd.
Sinclair's use of local marketing agreements would lead to legal issues in 1999, when Glencairn, Ltd. (since restructured as Cunningham Broadcasting) announced that it would acquire Fox affiliate KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from Sullivan Broadcasting; Glencairn subsequently announced plans to sell five of its 11 existing stations that were operated by Sinclair under LMAs to that company outright.
All but one of the Cunningham stations are operated by Sinclair under local marketing agreements (the exception is WYZZ-TV, which is operated by Nexstar Media Group).

Duopoly (broadcasting)

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The increased use of sharing agreements by media companies to form consolidated, "virtual" duopolies became controversial between 2009 and 2014, especially arrangements where a company buys a television station's facilities and assets, but sells the license to an affiliated third-party "shell" corporation, who then enters into agreements with the owner of the facilities to operate the station on their behalf. As the family of Sinclair Broadcast Group founder Julian Smith controlled 97% of Glencairn's stock assets (which remains the case under its Cunningham structure) and the company was to be paid with Sinclair stock in turn for the purchases, KOKH and Sinclair-owned WB affiliate KOCB (now a CW affiliate) would effectively constitute a duopoly in violation of FCC rules.
Some broadcasting companies have used loopholes to establish duopolies in smaller markets by way of a local marketing agreement, shared services agreement or joint sales agreement; where a station effectively brokers its entire airtime to the owner of another station in the market, which becomes responsible for handling its programming and advertising sales – and in effect, operations.

Nexstar Media Group

Nexstar Broadcasting GroupNexstarNexstar Broadcasting
Even still, the related joint sales and shared services agreement structures became increasingly common during the 2000s; these outsourcing agreements proliferated between 2011 and 2013, when station owners such as Sinclair and the Nexstar Broadcasting Group began expanding their portfolios by acquiring additional stations in an effort to drive scale as well as to gain leverage in retransmission consent negotiations with cable and satellite television providers.
It also operates all of the stations owned by an affiliated company, Mission Broadcasting, under local marketing agreements.

Tribune Media

Tribune CompanyTribuneTribune Co.
Both Tribune Media and the Gannett Company were required to use shared services agreements as a similar loophole to take control of certain stations in their respective 2013 purchases of Local TV and Belo, as they did not have exemptions to the FCC's newspaper cross-ownership restrictions in the affected markets.
Through Tribune Broadcasting, Tribune Media was one of the largest television broadcasting companies, owning 39 television stations across the United States and operating three additional stations through local marketing agreements.

Independent station (North America)

independent stationIndependentindependent stations
As Sinclair had already owned independent station WPTT (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WPNT) in that market, which would have violated FCC rules which at the time had prohibited television station duopolies, Sinclair decided to sell the lower-rated WPTT to the station's manager Eddie Edwards, but continued to operate the station through an LMA (Sinclair eventually repurchased the station – then assigned the call letters WCWB – outright in 2000, after the Federal Communications Commission began permitting common ownership of two television stations in the same market, creating a legal duopoly).
With the proliferation of duopolies and local marketing agreements since that point, most independent stations are operated alongside a major network affiliate (more commonly, one of either ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox), which may share syndicated programming with and/or produce newscasts in non-competitive timeslots for its unaffiliated sister.

Local TV LLC

Local TVLocal TV, LLC
Both Tribune Media and the Gannett Company were required to use shared services agreements as a similar loophole to take control of certain stations in their respective 2013 purchases of Local TV and Belo, as they did not have exemptions to the FCC's newspaper cross-ownership restrictions in the affected markets.
Local TV's partnership with Tribune expanded on September 17, 2008, as the company announced that it would take over Tribune's CW affiliates KWGN-TV and KPLR-TV under local marketing agreements, and consolidate them with KDVR and KTVI respectively.

Mission Broadcasting

Both Sinclair and Nexstar became infamous for their frequent use of sidecars as part of their expansion and consolidation tactics, partnering with companies like Cunningham Broadcasting, Deerfield Media, Mission Broadcasting, and even each other in the case of a virtual duopoly in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania between Sinclair-owned CBS affiliate WHP-TV and Nexstar-owned CW affiliate WLYH-TV, and a former virtual duopoly in Rochester, New York between Nexstar-owned CBS affiliate WROC-TV and Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate WUHF (in the wake of Sinclair and Deerfield's purchase of ABC affiliate WHAM-TV, this particular arrangement ended in January 2014).
All of Mission's stations are located in markets where the Nexstar Media Group also owns a station, and are managed by Nexstar through shared services and local marketing agreementsallowing duopolies between the top two stations in a market or in markets with too few stations to allow duopolies.

WLBT

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One example occurred in December 2013, when the Louisiana Media Company (owned by New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson) entered into a shared services agreement with Raycom Media to run the former company's Fox affiliate in New Orleans, Louisiana, WVUE-DT; while Louisiana Media Company retained the station's ownership and license, other assets were assumed by Raycom, which owns stations in markets adjacent to New Orleans (including Baton Rouge, Jackson, Biloxi, Lake Charles and Shreveport) but not within New Orleans itself.
The station is owned by Gray Television, which also operates American Spirit Media-owned Fox affiliate WDBD (channel 40) and Vicksburg-licensed MyNetworkTV outlet WLOO (channel 35) through respective local marketing and shared services agreements.

KOCB

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As the family of Sinclair Broadcast Group founder Julian Smith controlled 97% of Glencairn's stock assets (which remains the case under its Cunningham structure) and the company was to be paid with Sinclair stock in turn for the purchases, KOKH and Sinclair-owned WB affiliate KOCB (now a CW affiliate) would effectively constitute a duopoly in violation of FCC rules.
On July 14, 1997, Sinclair and Time Warner announced the signing of a ten-year, $84-million agreement to switch the affiliations of KOCB and five other stations that Sinclair either owned directly or operated through local marketing agreements with Glencairn, Ltd. (now Cunningham Broadcasting)—UPN affiliates WPTT-TV (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WPNT) in Pittsburgh, WNUV (now a CW affiliate) in Baltimore, WSTR-TV (now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) in Cincinnati, KRRT (now CW affiliate KMYS) in San Antonio and independent station WBSC-TV (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYA-TV) in Greenville, South Carolina—to The WB, in exchange for extending existing contracts for its WB affiliates in Milwaukee (WVTV) and Birmingham (WTTO).

MyNetworkTV

My Network TVMNTMy
As Sinclair had already owned independent station WPTT (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WPNT) in that market, which would have violated FCC rules which at the time had prohibited television station duopolies, Sinclair decided to sell the lower-rated WPTT to the station's manager Eddie Edwards, but continued to operate the station through an LMA (Sinclair eventually repurchased the station – then assigned the call letters WCWB – outright in 2000, after the Federal Communications Commission began permitting common ownership of two television stations in the same market, creating a legal duopoly).

WPGH-TV

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The first local marketing agreement in North American television was formed in 1991, when the Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased Fox affiliate WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Sinclair took over operations of WPGH-TV through a local marketing agreement (one of the earliest such LMAs to be formed) in the fall of 1991 and moved the best programming on WPTT-TV's schedule to WPGH-TV.

Tegna Inc.

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Tegna, who holds the former Gannett's broadcasting and digital media properties, re-acquired the licenses for most of the affected stations following the split.
It also provides operational services to another Fox affiliate, WUPW in Toledo, through a shared services agreement with that station's owner American Spirit Media.

KOKH-TV

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Sinclair's use of local marketing agreements would lead to legal issues in 1999, when Glencairn, Ltd. (since restructured as Cunningham Broadcasting) announced that it would acquire Fox affiliate KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from Sullivan Broadcasting; Glencairn subsequently announced plans to sell five of its 11 existing stations that were operated by Sinclair under LMAs to that company outright.
At the time, the FCC restricted broadcasters from owning more than one commercial television station in any market; however, since the agency did not count such agreements as de facto ownership, Sinclair formed local marketing agreements—a concept originated in the radio industry that it brought to television through the formation of a virtual duopoly between Fox affiliate WPGH-TV and independent station WPTT (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WPNT) in Pittsburgh in 1991—to operate stations that it could not own legally in other markets.

Deerfield Media

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Both Sinclair and Nexstar became infamous for their frequent use of sidecars as part of their expansion and consolidation tactics, partnering with companies like Cunningham Broadcasting, Deerfield Media, Mission Broadcasting, and even each other in the case of a virtual duopoly in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania between Sinclair-owned CBS affiliate WHP-TV and Nexstar-owned CW affiliate WLYH-TV, and a former virtual duopoly in Rochester, New York between Nexstar-owned CBS affiliate WROC-TV and Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate WUHF (in the wake of Sinclair and Deerfield's purchase of ABC affiliate WHAM-TV, this particular arrangement ended in January 2014).
All of its stations are part of duopolies with another Sinclair-owned station, and are operated under local marketing agreements or similar by Sinclair.

The CW

CWThe CW Television NetworkCW Network
As the family of Sinclair Broadcast Group founder Julian Smith controlled 97% of Glencairn's stock assets (which remains the case under its Cunningham structure) and the company was to be paid with Sinclair stock in turn for the purchases, KOKH and Sinclair-owned WB affiliate KOCB (now a CW affiliate) would effectively constitute a duopoly in violation of FCC rules.
News programming on CW affiliates – if the station carries any – is often outsourced to another major network affiliate in the market, especially if they are operated as part of a duopoly or management agreement, such as Tribune's respective CW-Fox duopolies of KWGN-TV/KDVR in Denver and KPLR-TV/KTVI in St. Louis (the Fox stations in both duopolies – KDVR and KTVI – were formerly owned by Local TV, with Tribune-owned KWGN and KPLR respectively consolidating with those stations through local marketing agreements formed as part of a wider partnership involving Local TV, which Tribune bought outright in 2013); Evansville, Indiana affiliate WTVW (which joined The CW in January 2013) and ABC affiliate WEHT (a virtual duopoly formed through Nexstar Broadcasting Group's 2011 purchase of WEHT and trade of WTVW to partner group Mission Broadcasting); and the CW-CBS O&O duopoly of KMAX-TV/KOVR in Sacramento (the former of which has produced a morning newscast, Good Day Sacramento, since it was a UPN owned-and-operated station, and – despite the two becoming a duopoly in 2005 – has remained separate from a more traditional morning show on KOVR pre-CBS This Morning, which produces KMAX's evening newscast).

WPNT

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As Sinclair had already owned independent station WPTT (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WPNT) in that market, which would have violated FCC rules which at the time had prohibited television station duopolies, Sinclair decided to sell the lower-rated WPTT to the station's manager Eddie Edwards, but continued to operate the station through an LMA (Sinclair eventually repurchased the station – then assigned the call letters WCWB – outright in 2000, after the Federal Communications Commission began permitting common ownership of two television stations in the same market, creating a legal duopoly).
Edwards then made a deal with Sinclair to buy time on his station from 3 p.m. to midnight (effectively creating one of the first local marketing agreements, which Sinclair would use heavily in its later station acquisitions), and get area cable providers to reinstate WPTT-TV on their lineups.

KSLA

KSLA-TV12Shreveport
One example occurred in December 2013, when the Louisiana Media Company (owned by New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson) entered into a shared services agreement with Raycom Media to run the former company's Fox affiliate in New Orleans, Louisiana, WVUE-DT; while Louisiana Media Company retained the station's ownership and license, other assets were assumed by Raycom, which owns stations in markets adjacent to New Orleans (including Baton Rouge, Jackson, Biloxi, Lake Charles and Shreveport) but not within New Orleans itself.
This arrangement ended on August 22, 1995, six days before KSHV-TV (channel 45, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) – through a programming revamp tied to a shared services agreement it reached with Associated Broadcasters Inc.-owned Fox affiliate KMSS-TV – took over as the UPN affiliate for the Shreveport–Texarkana market.

CIKR-FM

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LMAs can also allow companies to control foreign stations from outside of their respective country; Canadian media company Rogers Media uses a joint sales agreement to operate Cape Vincent, New York radio station WLYK as a station targeting the nearby Canadian market of Kingston, Ontario, where it owns CKXC-FM and CIKR-FM.
The same ownership group also launched CKXC-FM (93.5) in early 2008, and operates WLYK (102.7) in the nearby American community of Cape Vincent, New York through a local marketing agreement.

Brokered programming

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In essence, it is a sort of lease or time-buy.
If a station sells all of its time to a programmer, essentially leasing the station, it is a local marketing agreement (LMA).

WHP-TV

WHP-DT2WHP-DT3Harrisburg
Both Sinclair and Nexstar became infamous for their frequent use of sidecars as part of their expansion and consolidation tactics, partnering with companies like Cunningham Broadcasting, Deerfield Media, Mission Broadcasting, and even each other in the case of a virtual duopoly in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania between Sinclair-owned CBS affiliate WHP-TV and Nexstar-owned CW affiliate WLYH-TV, and a former virtual duopoly in Rochester, New York between Nexstar-owned CBS affiliate WROC-TV and Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate WUHF (in the wake of Sinclair and Deerfield's purchase of ABC affiliate WHAM-TV, this particular arrangement ended in January 2014).
The unusual situation of one market having two separately-owned and programmed CBS affiliates that air most of the same network programming continued until the fall of 1995, when Commonwealth sold channel 21 to Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia), which subsequently entered into a local marketing agreement with WLYH's then-owner Gateway Communications.

LIN Media

LIN TV CorporationLIN TVLIN Broadcasting
On June 4, 2010, LIN TV reached a deal with ACME Communications on a shared services agreement involving ACME and LIN-owned stations in the Green Bay, Dayton, and Albuquerque markets.

WUPW

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As part of the acquisition, WUPW entered into a shared services agreement (SSA) with Raycom Media's WTOL; three other American Spirit Media stations are located in markets with a Raycom-owned "Big Three" network affiliated station, and the American Spirit Media stations in all three of those markets are also operated by Raycom through SSAs.

Fox Broadcasting Company

FoxFox networkFox.com
One example occurred in December 2013, when the Louisiana Media Company (owned by New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson) entered into a shared services agreement with Raycom Media to run the former company's Fox affiliate in New Orleans, Louisiana, WVUE-DT; while Louisiana Media Company retained the station's ownership and license, other assets were assumed by Raycom, which owns stations in markets adjacent to New Orleans (including Baton Rouge, Jackson, Biloxi, Lake Charles and Shreveport) but not within New Orleans itself. The first local marketing agreement in North American television was formed in 1991, when the Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased Fox affiliate WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
In many small to mid-sized markets (largely those ranked outside the 50 largest Nielsen-designated television markets), production of the local Fox affiliate's newscasts is outsourced to an NBC, ABC or CBS station – either due to insufficient funds or studio space for a news department or in most cases, as a byproduct of the station being operated through a legal duopoly or a management agreement with a major network affiliate (such as with Cunningham Broadcasting-owned WEMT (channel 39) in Greeneville, Tennessee, which has its newscasts produced by NBC affiliate WCYB-TV (channel 5) through a local marketing agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group).