The $3.9 billion deal would add 42 television stations in 33 markets to the Baltimore-based Sinclair’s 173 TV stations in 81 markets, which it owns or runs.
Tribune's TV stations include 14 Fox affiliates, 12 CW affiliates, six CBS affiliates, three ABC affiliates, two NBC affiliates, three MyNetworkTV affiliates and two independent stations. Tribune also owns cable network WGN America and a minority stake in the TV Food Network.
The cash and stock deal is valued at $43.50.
Early Monday morning stock trading had Sinclair’s stock up 7% to $39.60 and Tribune stock 6% higher to $42.51. Since the election last November, TV station stocks have soared 20% to 30% and higher.
The deal is presumed to be well over the current FCC limits, where a company is capped in owning TV stations representing 39% of U.S. TV households. Recently, the FCC voted to ease ownership cap rules.
Although FCC TV station coverage caps may ease, Sinclair says it may still sell off a number of stations.
It was reported that two other TV station group owners were in the mixed to make bids for Tribune: Nexstar Media and 21st Century Fox/Blackstone venture.
Earlier this year, Tribune Media said it was looking at strategic options for the company. In January, Peter Liguori, Tribune Media’s CEO, said he was departing.