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(Aug. 8, 2001) -- Viacom Inc. and News Corp. will swap three TV stations in a deal that looks to bolster each company's advertising clout in several major markets.

Under the pact, Viacom would acquire KBHK-TV, San Francisco, from News Corp. subsidiary Fox Television Stations Inc., in exchange for KTXH-TV, Houston, and WDCA -TV, Washington, D.C.

Viacom and Fox will now each have seven "duopolies" -- markets where they own more than one station.

Fox Television said the deal brings it closer to compliance with a Federal Communications Commission ruling to reduce the audience reach of its Fox-owned stations, following its recent purchase of rival broadcaster Chris-Craft Industries, owner of 10 stations primarily in major markets. -- Wayne Friedman

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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