Tribune Completes Acquisition Of Local TV

by , Dec 27, 2013, 5:30 PM
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Tribune Co. has completed its $2.73 billion acquisition of Local TV, the company announced Friday, closing a deal that increases Tribune’s TV portfolio to 39 local broadcast stations reaching about 50 million households in markets across the U.S. The deal includes stations in Denver, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee, among other markets.
 
This marks the completion of a five-month process that began in July, when the planned transaction was first announced. The Federal Communications Commission approved the acquisition on Dec. 20, after several months of review.

In addition to taking direct control of 16 stations, Tribune will provide operational services to another three stations, previously owned by Local TV. They are being transferred to a company called Dreamcaster Broadcasting to comply with FCC rules on local media ownership.
 
Dreamcaster, led by former Tribune Broadcasting president Ed Wilson, purchased the stations in Virginia and Pennsylvania for $27 million. The deal gives Tribune an exclusive option to buy back the stations at a later date; regulatory approval for this step would likely depend on Tribune divesting its local newspapers in those markets, as planned.
 
Tribune CEO Peter Liguori stated: “This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune, providing us with significant scale to drive our business objectives and create substantial shareholder value.”
 
Meantime, Tribune is pressing ahead with plans to spin off its ailing publishing unit as a standalone business sometime in the first half of 2014. The spinoff, announced earlier this year, will complete the media company’s strategic shift from a mixed publishing and broadcast business to a broadcast and digital focus, including the local stations, cable network WGN America, a stake in the Food Network and online businesses like Classified Ventures and CareerBuilder.
 
In February,Tribune indicated its willingness to sell its newspapers, including the flagship Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, but the proposed auction failed to generate attractive offers in light of tax liabilities, prompting the company to switch to the spinoff plan in July.

1 comment on "Tribune Completes Acquisition Of Local TV".

  1. Clinton Gallagher from virtualCableTV
    commented on: December 30, 2013 at 7:01 p.m.
    This is another useless piece of crap from MediaPostNews that says nothing about which local TV stations were acquired and for what terms. I don't imagine the idiot Erik Sass that wrote it bothered to think such fundamentals would be of interest to persons in those local markets.

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