Sinclair To Boost Local TV Ownership With $3.9B Tribune Media Deal

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Sinclair Broadcast Group is buying Tribune Media for about $3.9 billion, boosting the number of local TV stations it owns.

Sinclair will own or operate more than 200 stations following the deal. Chicago-based Tribune owns or operates 42 television stations, including KTLA in Los Angeles and WPIX in New York, and it owns a stake in the Food Network.

Sinclair, based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, owns 173 stations around the country, along with cable network WGN America, digital multicast network Antenna TV, minority stakes in TV Food Network and CareerBuilder, and various real estate assets.

It will pay $43.50 for each share of Tribune Media Co., an 8 percent premium from Tribune’s closing price of $40.29 on Friday.

In order to comply with FCC ownership requirements and antitrust regulations, Sinclair may sell certain stations in markets where it currently owns stations, but there was no immediate word on details linked to such a move, which would be determined through the regulatory approval process.

Tribune is the former parent company of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. The two newspapers and other Tribune publications were spun off in 2014 into a company now named Tronc.

Some critics have voiced concerns over Sinclair’s perceived conservative bias, and at least one campaign has called on advertisers to boycott the media conglomerate.

During the 2004 presidential race, Sinclair was forced to back down from plans to air a documentary critical of John Kerry’s anti-war activities after shareholders challenged Sinclair’s plans to air the film, saying the controversial broadcast may hurt their investment.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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