Sunday, 08 December, 2019

Sinclair Broadcast Group acquires Tribune Media

John Hickenlooper John Hickenlooper
Debra Rodriguez | 09 May, 2017, 03:18

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the biggest U.S. local television station owner, has agreed to acquire rival Tribune Media for about $6.6bn, including debt, in a deal that is expected to be the first of many in the media industry following the Federal Communications Commission's recent decision to effectively loosen a cap on local television station ownership.

The deal, which must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission, would give Sinclair a presence in the top three TV markets - KTLA in Los Angeles, WPIX in NY and WGN in Chicago.

Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley called the planned acquisition "transformational", in a statement, adding: "The Tribune stations are highly complementary to Sinclair's existing footprint and will create a leading nationwide media platform that includes our country's largest markets".

The deal values Tribune Media at $43.50 a share, an 8% premium to Tribune's $40.29 closing price Friday and a 26% premium over the price in February, before reports of a deal first surfaced.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, named by President Donald Trump in January, is planning to take a new look at the current overall limit on companies owning stations serving no more than 39 percent of US television households.

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Monday that it will acquire Tribune Media in a deal valued at $3.9 billion.

Tax cuts not a cure-all
The Trump administration hopes to generate economic growth of 3 percent - measured by annual rate of gross domestic product. But this exercise did reinforce my perceptions that the current proposals bear little resemblance to Reaganomics.

The sale will mark the end of a long road for Tribune, whose name was long intertwined with the city of Chicago, where the Chicago Tribune newspaper was founded more than 150 years ago.

Although FCC TV station coverage caps may ease, Sinclair says it may still sell off a number of stations. Tribune has owned KTLA since 1985.

Shares of Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) traded up 1.77% on Tuesday, hitting $40.29.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the nation's largest local TV station operators, wants to get even bigger. Tribune Media also runs cable networks like Tribune Studios, WGN America, and WGN-Radio. Reuters earlier reported that the companies were nearing a deal. The 5 months bullish chart indicates low risk for the $3.78 billion company.

Jeffrey McCall, a media studies professor at DePauw University in IN, said buying Tribune will give Sinclair more power to negotiate better deals with cable companies and national advertisers.

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