Citadel Communications has been chosen to be the next owner of Providence ABC-affil WLNE. The New York-based company submitted a bid of $4 million last month, which was also selected as the stalking horse bid for the auction. Citadel will assume control of the station on May 1st, and could be approved by the FCC by June 1st.
ABC has expressed approval of the sale and has specified that they will renew the contract when it expires at the end of the month. As you may have heard, ABC had considered a non-renewal if the bidder did not meet their standards. That would have meant that ABC6 would have to pull ABC branding from their station and website, abc6.com.
In an interview with the CEO of Citadel Communications, the intent to make a speedy and orderly transition to high-definition newscasts was revealed. All of Citadel’s other properties are broadcasting in HD currently, so the move makes sense from a standardization point of view.
A station insider at channel 6 has told btvn that employees reacted positively to the news and that the new ownership will benefit the station.