E.W. Scripps To Buy Katz Broadcasting's Digital Nets For Under $302 Million

Media owner E.W. Scripps & Co. announced a deal to buy Katz Broadcasting's local digital networks for under $302 million.

In the deal, Scripps, which owns 33 TV stations, will get various networks, including Bounce, Grit, Escape and Laff. The networks reach more than 80% of U.S. TV households.

Scripps, which already owned 5% of Katz Broadcasting, intends to finance the deal with $250 million of new debt and about $50 million of cash on hand.  

In 2018, the four networks are expected to have revenue of $180 million and a net profit of $30 million. Katz company founder Jonathan Katz will continue as the senior executive of the Katz group of networks.

Bounce TV is an African-American content network launched in 2011. Three years later, in 2014, Grit launched, targeting men ages 25-54 with a lineup of western and action films. Escape also started in 2014 for women 25-54. In 2015, Laff began focusing on comedy -- sitcoms and movies -- geared toward adults 18-49.

Scripps Networks Interactive, which includes HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, had been part of E.W. Scripps. & Co. until both separated into two publicly traded companies in 2007.

Earlier this week, Discovery Communications bought Scripps Networks Interactive in a cash and stock deal worth $14.6 billion.



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