In an effort to obtain FCC approval of the Allbritton acquisition, Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to sell two stations — WHTM in Harrisburg, Pa. and WTAT in Charleston, S.C — for a combined $97.4 million. The FCC previously said Sinclair would not be allowed to operate multiple stations in Harrisburg or Charleston.
WHTM, currently owned by Allbritton, will be sold to Media General. Sinclair will also sell the non-license assets of WTAT to Cunningham Communications, which currently holds the license assets. The station is operated by Sinclair through a local marketing agreement.
“The sales are part of Sinclair’s larger acquisition of the Allbritton Communications television stations in order to comply with regulatory rules in an effort to obtain approval of the Allbritton transaction by July 27, 2014,” Sinclair said in a statement. “Sinclair has no option on the stations and will not guarantee the debt of or provide sales services for these stations. Sinclair anticipates it will be able to close on the Allbritton transaction in the third quarter of 2014, pending customary approvals and a waiver from the FCC.”