In an interesting (to media nerds) trade, the owner of Bay Area television stations KTVU and KICU has traded them to FOX Television Stations in exchange to stations based in Boston and Memphis.

Fox Television Stations and Cox Media Group sent a joint press release Tuesday heralding the deal, which would put Oakland-based Fox affiliate KTVU and San Jose independent station KICU (that's TV 36) in Fox Television's hands.

In exchange, Cox gets WFXT Fox 25 in Boston and WHBQ Fox 13 in Memphis.

In a written statement, CEO of Fox Television Stations Jack Abernethy says “The addition of KTVU and KICU to our portfolio of owned-and-operated stations provides us with a compelling growth opportunity in a top-10 market...Our stations group will benefit from both the strong demographics of the Bay area market as well as the alignment with our package of sports rights."

According to the San Francisco Business Times, Fox Television has 28 stations in 18 markets, which means they cover 37 percent of US homes.

But not much will change for local viewers: as SF Chronicle TV critic David Weigand says, "it just makes them Fox O and O's. (owned and operated). There won't be any change in programming."

Neither party has revealed the specific terms of the deal, which must be approved by the FCC before moving forward.

[SF Business Times]
[The Wrap]
[SF Chronicle]