Nexstar buys Tribune Media, forms largest US local TV broadcaster

Nexstar buys Tribune

Nexstar Media has agreed to buy Tribune Media in cash for $4.1bn, creating America's largest local TV broadcaster and local media company.

Including debt, the deal is worth $6.4bn.

The deal combines Texas-based Nexstar's 174 local stations with Tribune's 42 stations in major US markets. The combined broadcaster will reach 39% of US television households.

Last year, Sinclair Broadcasting attempted to purchase Tribune for $3.9bn, but the deal fell through in August after regulatory concerns.

According to a company statement from Nexstar, the deal is expected to close late in the third quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approval and approval by Tribune's shareholders. The board of directors of both companies have approved the deal.

Perry Sook, chairman, president and chief executive of Nexstar, said in a statement the deal positions the new group to better compete in today's media market.

"The transaction offers synergies related to the enhanced scale of the combined broadcast and digital media operations, and increases our audience reach by approximately 50%. Furthermore, the addition of the Tribune Media broadcast assets further expands our geographic diversity, as pro forma for the completion of the transaction, we will serve 18 of the nation’s top 25 markets and 37 of the top 50 markets," said Sook.

The local TV landscape is seeing some notable shakeups. As part of the Disney-Fox merger, Fox is selling off its 22 regional sports networks. Amazon and Sinclair are among the companies bidding for the local sports stations.

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