The FCC yesterday approved the sale of Allbritton Communications, owner of WJLA and News Channel 8, to Sinclair Broadcast Group. The deal was announced in July 2013 pending FCC approval for $985 million.
According to TVSpy, with the acquisition, “Sinclair owns, operates, programs or provides sales service to 162 stations in 78 markets. Sinclair stations now reach nearly 40 percent of US television households.”
POLITICO publisher Robert Allbritton, who’s family owned Allbritton Communications for nearly four decades, tweeted:
Very mixed emotions: FCC approved sale of our TV stations to Sinclair. Thanks to all at ACC for 40 wonderful years. I will miss you deeply.
— Robert Allbritton (@R_Allbritton) July 24, 2014
In an interview for POLITICO, he touted the successes of POLITICO – not WJLA or News Channel 8 – and supported the future of Internet-based communications.
The deal adds, in addition to WJLA and News Channel 8, several other broadcast ventures to Sinclair’s portfolio, including WHTM-TV (Harrisburg, PA), WSET-TV (Lynchburg, VA), KATV (Little Rock, AR), KTUL (Tulsa, OK), WCIV (Charleston, SC), and WCFT-TV and WJSU-TV (Birmingham, AL).
According to the POLITICO piece, “Sinclair surrendered licenses to three TV stations that were part of the original deal because of new FCC rules designed to crack down on joint sales agreements.
For the FCC ruling, click here.