July 13, 2024

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Disney is pushing back on reports that the company is talking with Nexstar Media Group about a potential sale of ABC and its eight local ABC stations.

Chatter is continuing however, especially in light of comments by Tom Carter, a former Nexstar exec who is now a senior advisor to the CEO and board of directors. Speaking at a BofA Securities conference in New York on Wednesday, Carter said Nexstar could acquire the ABC stations with “little friction” but noted that Disney has not clarified what it intends to do with the linear TV assets that CEO Bob Iger said last month “may not be core” to the company.

“While we are open to considering a variety of strategic options for our linear businesses, at this time The Walt Disney Company has made no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property and any report to that effect is unfounded,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement provided to Deadline.

There has no formal dealbook circulated or formal process initiated in the wake of Iger’s comments, sources have told Deadline. The carriage renewal reached with Charter this week, which saw eight networks jettisoned from Spectrum cable TV systems, indicates the state of linear networks and Disney is apt to ramp up efforts to rearrange those assets in the corporate fold.

Nexstar declined to comment Thursday when contacted by Deadline.

The list of interested suitors for Disney linear holdings includes Allen Media Group, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The company has taken part in a number of M&A deals in recent years, buying the Weather Channel and bidding for BET before Paramount paused the process of seeking minority stakeholders in it.

MORE to come …

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