Sinclair Broadcast Group will sell 23 stations in 18 markets, with agreements in place to sell WGN-TV in Chicago, KDAF in Dallas, KIAH in Houston, Seattle stations KCPQ and KUNS, WSFL-TV in Miami, KDVR in Denver and others.
The deals, announced today, are part of Sinclair’s effort to gain regulatory approval for its Tribune merger.
Sinclair announced that it has “entered into definitive agreements to sell television stations to Standard Media Group LLC (an affiliate of Standard General LP), Meredith Corporation, Howard Stirk and Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation and another party to be announced, upon consummation of Sinclair’s acquisition of the stock of Tribune Media Company. The sales are part of Sinclair’s larger acquisition of Tribune Media Company, in order to obtain necessary governmental approval of the Tribune transaction and for other business purposes and are expected to close at the same time as the Tribune transaction.”
The company said it anticipates closing near the end of the second quarter of this year.
Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair, commented in the announcement: “After a very robust divestiture process, with strong interest from many parties, we have achieved healthy multiples on the stations we are divesting. While we continue to believe that we had a strong and supportable rationale for not having to divest stations, we are happy to announce this significant step forward in our plan to create a leading broadcast platform with local focus and national reach. The combined company will continue to advance industry technology, including the Next Generation Broadcast Platform, and to benefit from significant revenue and expense synergies.”
Other stations the company said will be sold include WJW in Cleveland, KTXL in Sacramento, KPLR-TV in St. Louis, KSWB in San Diego, KSTU and KMYU in Salt Lake City, KOKH and KAUT-TV in Oklahoma City, WXMI in Grand Rapids, WPMT in Harrisburg, Pa., WXLV in Greensboro, N.C., WRLH in Richmond, Va., Wilkes Barre, Pa., stations WOLF, WQMY and WSWB, and KDSM in Des Moines.