Marshall Broadcasting Group, a black-owned media group has filed a lawsuit against Nexstar saying they are trying to sabotage the company’s stations.
In the lawsuit, Marshall Broadcasting head Pluria Marshall Jr. says that Nexstar sold three TV stations — KPEJ-TV in Odessa, TX; KMSS-TV in Shreveport, LA.; and KLJB-TV in Rock Island, IL — to MBG in 2014, after being forced to divest some of its assets because of Federal Communications Commission ownership rules, as it looked to win government approval for other acquisitions.
Nexstar’s website says it operates the stations.
Urban Hollywood 411 writes that the suit accuses the company of a “calculated scheme” to sabotage operations at the three small market stations to diminish their value and buy them back at rock-bottom prices.
MBG claims Nexstar chose the black-owned company as the buyer because it “knew the FCC would look favorably on a sale to a minority-owned entity,” as the FCC sought to increase diversity among commercial television ownership ranks.
“It has become clear that our only value to Nexstar was diversity optics at the FCC,” said Marshall, MBG’s president and CEO, in a statement. “Ever since the deal was signed, Nexstar has gone to great lengths to constantly interfere, undercut our authority and sabotage our business.”
The suit alleges Nexstar is secretly scheming to get the stations back in hopes that it will face fewer regulatory rules under the Trump administration than it did in 2014.
“The allegations made by MBG in its lawsuit against the company are spurious and without merit. The company intends to vigorously defend itself regarding this matter in a court of law,” Nexstar said in a statement.