Sale of Montgomery’s WCOV Fox 20 approved by federal regulators

Montgomery's WCOV-TV Fox 20, has been sold to Allen Media Broadcasting.
Montgomery's WCOV-TV Fox 20, has been sold to Allen Media Broadcasting.(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 10:08 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A multi-million dollar deal to sell Montgomery’s first television station has been approved by federal regulators.

The Federal Communication Commission this week signed off on the sale of locally owned WCOV-TV Fox 20 to Los Angeles-based media conglomerate Allen Media Broadcasting, which owns television stations across the country, in addition to properties such as theGrio and The Weather Channel.

The $28.5 million, all-cash deal between media mogul Byron Allen and Montgomery businessman and former mayoral candidate David Woods was announced in mid-December but required federal approval.

In addition to Fox 20, the purchase agreement means Allen will pick up Woods’ low-powered stations WALE 17 in Montgomery and WIYC 48, which is licensed in Troy, and all associated digital subchannel affiliations for each.

The channels and subchannels include:

  • WCOV Fox 20, 20.2 (Antenna TV), and 20.3 (THIS TV)
  • WICY channel 48, 48.1 (CoziTV), 48.2 (MyNetworkTV), 48.3 (Heroes & Icons), 48.4 (CourtTV/Mystery), 48.5 (TBD), 48.6 (Comet), 48.7 (Charge!)
  • WALE channel 17, 17.1 (True Crime Network), 17.2 (Laff), 17.3 (CourtTV), 17.4 (Jewelry Television), 17.5 (Movies!), 17.6 (Heroes & Icons), and 17.7 (Comet)

“WCOV-TV is an excellent asset and has been extremely well-managed for decades by the Woods family, who I’ve known for over 35 years,” Allen said in a December press release announcing his latest acquisition.

Prior to the sale, Woods had owned WCOV since 1985 when it was aligned with CBS. The following year, he lost the network affiliation, then quickly pivoted to the fledgling Fox network, which has grown in years since to one of the four major television networks.

“Byron Allen has a reputation for hiring the best executives in each of the companies he owns,” Woods said in the December release. “We have observed his growth for over 40 years and admire what he has achieved. Byron Allen is a true American entrepreneur. We feel blessed to become part of the Allen Media Group family.”

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