Monday, July 01, 2013

TV market consolidates further with Tribune deal

Less than three weeks after Gannett announced a $2.2 billion acquisition of Belo, the Tribune Co. this morning agreed to buy 19 stations for about $2.7 billion, making it one of the nation’s biggest owners of commercial local TV outlets amid a groundswell of consolidation in the industry.

The stations are in 16 regions, including Denver, Cleveland and St. Louis, and many of their local news broadcasts are ranked first or second in their markets, according to The New York Times. They will complement Tribune’s 23 existing stations and its WGN America cable channel. Tribune is buying the stations from Local TV Holdings, a company owned by the investment firm Oak Hill Capital Partners.

The deal ratchets up the competition with GCI, because four of the stations are in markets where GCI also owns stations: Denver; Cleveland; Greensboro, S.C., and St. Louis. In a fifth market, Des Moines, GCI owns a newspaper.

GCI's Belo deal covers 20 stations, five of which are being spun off to a new third company; GCI will provide advertising sales and other services to those five under a contract. Including all 20, GCI would nearly double its station ownership to 43. The $2.2 billion price includes assumption of $700 million in debt.

Here's Tribune's press release describing the deal. And here's a list of the stations Tribune is buying.


  1. Probably a good deal in the short term. But Tribune, like Gannett, will struggle with these stations in the future as advertisers and content providers continue to move to other more direct channels (pun intended) that offer convenient and targeted delivery to desired audiences. I'm afraid that local television stations will face the same fate tomorrow as local newspapers face today.

  2. In AZ, Gannett scared the mailroom(post press) with outsourcing the work, and got a contract; but by a very close vote. The Company got what they wanted; 8% cut in salary, one holiday, & they will take over the hiring Chairman's duties at the start of 2014. Gannett has not given Phoenix production employees a increase in wages since they bought the place, 13 years ago now. And that won't fly with the press room.The pressmen don't believe any of the bull being spread by the company. If they push to much..this place will be in for a terrible ending. By the way, today it's 116 degrees outside in Phoenix..STOP CORPORATE GREED111

    1. Charles Everett7/02/2013 9:35 AM

      Irrelevant to this thread.

      For the record Tribune Co. is acquiring those 19 stations from Local TV LLC -- the current owner's name was incorrect.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Corporate greed my ace.


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