In a major revamp of its $3.9 billion deal to buy Tribune Media, Sinclair Broadcast Group now says it would sell TV stations in New York and Chicago as well as other TV stations to meet media ownership limits to gain U.S. regulators’ approval for the deal.
In a new filing on Wednesday with the FCC, Sinclair says agreements have been reached to sell New York’s WPIX and Chicago’s WGN. It did not identify the buyers.
In addition, Sinclair would also sell one or more stations in eight other markets. The station sales would be completed around the proposed time of the deal wrap-up in May.
The deal needs approval from the FCC and the Justice Department.
Under the initial merger agreement, a Sinclair-Tribune TV station group combination was estimated to reach more than 72% of U.S. TV homes. Currently, there are federal limits on ownership of TV stations. Collectively, it cannot represent more than 39% of U.S. TV homes.
Tribune Media owns 42 TV stations, including stations in the top three markets: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. It would bring the total number of Sinclair Broadcast Group TV stations to 233.