E. W. Scripps Buys Cordillera TV Stations For $521 Million

E.W. Scripps Company is buying 15 TV stations in 10 markets from Cordillera Communications.

Formed in 1986 as a subsidiary of Evening Post Industries, family-owned Cordillera Communications is based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Cordillera owns and operates television stations in geographically diverse small- and medium-sized markets, serving more than 2.3 million U.S. households.

Scripps local TV markets will now reach 21% of U.S. TV households -- comprising 51 stations in 36 markets. Scripps says it will have the No. 1 Nielsen-rated TV stations in 11 of its 36 markets. The deal is priced at $521 million.

E.W. Scripps stock was up 2.8% to $16.40 in early Monday trading.

In higher stock-market trading overall, other TV station groups were also up on the day, with Tegna gaining 3.1% to $11.31, Nexstar Media Group 3.5% higher to $74.69, Sinclair Broadcast Group adding 3.5% to $27.30; and Tribune Media up 1.4% to $37.40.

Earlier this month, Tribune Media -- party to a proposed $3.9 billion deal with Sinclair, which was eventually dropped due to federal regulatory concerns -- was reported to be receiving another possible bid.

The news came from Tom Hicks Jr., chairman of the super PAC America First, which is aligned with President Trump. TV station company Nexstar Media Group, as well as private-equity groups such as Apollo Global Management and Blackstone Group were also expected to make offers.

Analysts believe Fox TV stations will buy more TV outlets with the money from Walt Disney. Fox has done a $71.3 billion deal with Disney to sell about half of its TV and movie businesses.

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