Brooks Pierce partners David Kushner and Coe W. Ramsey represented The E.W. Scripps Company in its acquisition of ION Media Networks Inc. for $2.65 billion. The deal, which included the ION television network and 48 ION television stations, was announced late September and closed on Jan. 7, 2021.
With this transaction, Scripps now reaches nearly every American through its national networks business that includes ION Media’s entertainment programming, Newsy’s headline and documentary news content and the five popular Katz broadcast networks: Bounce, Court TV, Court TV Mystery, Grit and Laff.
Scripps also now owns stations across 76 television markets, making Scripps the nation’s largest television broadcaster.
To obtain regulatory approval for the deal, Scripps sold 23 of ION’s 71 television stations to INYO Broadcast Holdings LLC, a new entrant in the television broadcast industry.
Brooks Pierce’s representation of Scripps included being lead counsel in connection with the FCC approval, the INYO divestiture transaction and the affiliation of INYO’s 23 stations with the ION television network.
Kushner has more than 20 years of experience in media and communications law, focusing on broadcasting, media policy and First Amendment issues. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on retransmission consent agreements, having negotiated agreements worth more than $9 billion for clients. Kushner has guided some of the nation’s largest media companies in creating new revenue sources and exploring new ways to deliver content. He has been selected by his peers for The Best Lawyers in America© for Media Law (2013-2021).
Ramsey represents broadcasters throughout the country, counseling them on a variety of issues including buying and selling radio and television properties, FCC ownership rules and policies, broadcast licensing and renewals, programming issues, political advertising and music licensing. He was recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Intellectual Property Law (2016-2020), selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Entertainment Law - Music, Litigation - Intellectual Property (2019-2021) and Copyright Law (2021), recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) in Entertainment and Sports Law (2019-2020) and as a “Rising Star” in Entertainment & Sports Law (2011-2012) and Communications Law (2009).
Brooks Pierce served as Scripps’ legal co-counsel for the acquisition with law firm BakerHostetler. Brooks Pierce lawyers Tony Barwick and Steven M. LaSota also assisted with the transaction.