Sinclair May Sell Stations to Get Tribune Merger Approval

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel 

A Bloomberg report says Sinclair might consider selling stations in order to acquire Tribune.

This comes as the FCC prepares to review the $3.9 billion dollar purchase which, if approved, would give Sinclair ownership of 233 stations.

According to the report:

Preliminary bids for the stations were submitted last week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the process wasn’t public. Sinclair may sell some or all of the outlets, all in different markets, the people said.

The process could be delayed by uncertainty over whether President Donald Trump’s appointees will change rules limiting media ownership and how the administration will enforce antitrust laws, the people said. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has told an opponent of the Sinclair-Tribune deal that the agency may review media ownership rules before ruling on the $3.9 billion transaction.

Tribune owns 33 stations. If FCC approves the merger, Sinclair would be the largest broadcasting group.

Sinclair declined to comment on the Bloomberg article about the potential station sales.