Sinnclair Broadcast Group Inc., the Baltimore-based company that has kept a low profile, will become a nationwide player with the planned acquisition of Tribune Media and its 42 TV stations, giving it a powerful platform to potentially launch a right-leaning programming service to rival Fox News.
The company, which already is the largest TV station group owner in the U.S. with 139 stations, has operated largely out of the media business fishbowl because it had no outlet in New York or Los Angeles.
Now, with the Tribune acquisition, Sinclair will have a footprint in most of the country’s major markets, spanning about a third of the nation’s households.
Sinclair said Monday that it will acquire Tribune Media Co. for $3.9 billion plus the assumption of about $2.7 billion in debt. Tribune shareholders are to receive $35 in cash and 0.23 of a share of Sinclair common stock for each Tribune share; based on Tribune’s closing stock price Friday, that’s a total value of $43.50 a share.
WGN is Tribune’s flagship station, founded by the Chicago Tribune in 1948.
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