Today Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the nation’s largest local TV station operators is now even bigger. The company announced today that it will pay about $3.9 billion for Tribune Media, adding more than 40 stations including KTLA in Los Angeles, WPIX in New York and WGN-TV in Chicago. (Tribune also has stakes in the Food Network and job-search website CareerBuilder.)
Sinclair already has 173 stations around the country, including KENV in Salt Lake City, KOMO in Seattle and WKRC in Cincinnati. The Tribune deal, plus other pending acquisitions, will give Sinclair a total of 233 TV stations. But the Hunt Valley, Maryland-based company said it may sell some stations to comply with Federal Communications Commission rules.
Sinclair said it will pay about $43.50 in cash and stock for each share of Tribune, an 8 percent premium from Tribune’s closing price of $40.29 on Friday. Shares of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. rose 95 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $37.90 in morning trading Monday. Tribune Media Co. shares rose $2.56, or 6.4 percent, to $42.85.
It had been reported that FOX was making a offer for Tribune also in a effort to block the Sinclair deal. Yet it seems Tribune has gone with the Sinclair offer over the Fox deal.
The deal still needs to be approved by the FCC and it would require a rule change allowing Sinclair to cover over 39% of the United States. Early reports are that the FCC is open to approving this merger.
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