Sinclair Will Sell WPIX, WGN, Other Stations Before Closing Tribune Deal

By Chris Ariens Comment

Big news in the $3.9 billion sale of Tribune Media to Sinclair Broadcasting. Variety reports on an FCC filing in which Sinclair said it has entered into agreements to sell WPIX in New York, WGN in Chicago and several other stations in order to comply with FCC rules.

Sinclair needs to sell some station to remain under the FCC’s TV station ownership cap of 39 percent reach of of U.S. TV homes. Buying all of Tribune would have put it over that cap, even when the UHF discount is factored in.

However, Sinclair intends to remain close to the stations through a shared services agreement. From Variety:

Sinclair’s filing also identified eight markets — including Seattle, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, and Oklahoma City — where it needs to sell off stations to comply with FCC rules regarding the number of outlets a single entity can own in a given market. But again, Sinclair said it plans to enter into agreements with buyers in three of those markets — Seattle, Oklahoma City, and Greensboro, N.C. — to continue operating the stations even after a sale.

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