Nexstar Closes On Tribune Merger

At the same time it brings on board three former Tribune execs: Sean Compton, who will head WGN America; Dana Zimmer, who oversees distribution; and Gary Weitman, who is in charge of internal and external communications.

Nexstar Media Group on Thursday afternoon announced today that it completed its acquisition of Tribune Media in what it called an accretive transaction valued at approximately $7.2 billion including the assumption of Tribune Media’s outstanding debt.

In addition, it said that three former members of Tribune Media’s senior management team have joined Nexstar, effective immediately:

  • Sean Compton has been named executive vice president, WGN America, WGN Radio and director of content acquisition. He is responsible for the management of these former Tribune Media properties, as well as the digital multicast television network, Antenna TV and will oversee Nexstar’s programming acquisitions across all television platforms.
  • Dana Zimmer becomes executive vice president and chief distribution and strategy officer. In her new role, Zimmer is responsible for the distribution and monetization of Nexstar’s broadcast and television content portfolio to cable, satellite, telco and digital media distributors. She will also manage relationships with Nexstar’s network partners at Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC and The CW.
  • Gary Weitman has been named executive vice president and chief communications officer, responsible for Nexstar’s internal and external communications, media relations, employee communication and the company’s intranet and its website,

The combination creates the nation’s largest pure-play local broadcast television and digital media company, with 197 stations in 115 markets and national coverage and reach of approximately 39% of U.S. television households (reflecting the FCC’s UHF discount) or 63% without the discount..

Nexstar also announced that upon closing the Tribune deal it completed the previously announced divestitures of 21 television stations for total consideration of approximately $1.33 billion (inclusive of a purchase price adjustment for two Indianapolis stations sold to Circle City Broadcasting). Included in those spinoffs were eight television stations in seven markets purchased by E.W. Scripps.

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