Sinclair to Buy Tribune Media for $3.9 Billion Plus Debt
Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to buy Tribune Media in a cash and stock deal valued at $3.9 billion that would end local ownership of WGN, the iconic Chicago TV and radio stations.
Sinclair’s acquisition of Chicago-based Tribune Media’s 42 television stations and other assets would make the largest station owner in the country even bigger, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission and federal antitrust regulators.
In addition to WGN-Ch. 9 and WGN-AM 720, changes also would be in store for national cable channel WGN America as the broadcasting company moves under suburban Baltimore-based Sinclair, with the deal expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2017. What becomes of the Tribune name and the company’s Chicago headquarters also remains an open question.
“This is really a historic event for Sinclair,” Chris Ripley, the company’s president and CEO, said in an investor call Monday. “We’re very excited about the transaction and what it means for the company and the industry and all the consumers that we service.”