Sinclair Settles More Lawsuits Over Tribune Bid

Sinclair Broadcast Group says it agreed to settle three derivative lawsuits that were brought by investors in connection with Sinclair’s efforts to gain regulatory approval for the acquisition of Tribune Media. Sinclair was unable to get approval for the $3.9 billion deal and Tribune was acquired by Nexstar Media.

Sinclair Pays Nexstar $60M To Settle Lawsuit

Sinclair Broadcast Group has settled the lawsuit stemming from its failed $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media. The merger was scuttled after the FCC referred it to an administrative law judge, making it untenable. Tribune responded by terminating the deal and filing suit against Sinclair in August 2018, alleging breach of contract.

Covers Media Adds To Its Sports Betting Podcasts

Tribune Media-owned Covers Media Group, a player in the sports betting space for almost 25 years, and operator of Covers.com and ProSportsDaily.com, has expanded its Covers.com podcast content library in time for the start of the NFL and NCAAF seasons. This launch includes the addition of a new host for the existing The Sharp 600 podcast while adding three new […]

QUARTERLY REPORT

Tribune 2Q TV Revenue Off 1%

Tribune Media today reported second quarter 2019 earnings results that included Television and Entertainment Segment revenue of $482.6 million compared to $486.4 million in the second quarter of 2018, a decrease of $3.9 million, or 1%. The company said the decrease was driven by a $17.6 million decrease in political advertising revenues and a $6.4 […]

DOJ OKs Nexstar-Tribune Merger With Spinoffs

“Without the required divestitures, Nexstar’s merger with Tribune threatens significant competitive harm to cable and satellite TV subscribers and small businesses,” said  antitrust chief Makan Delrahim. “I am pleased, however, that we have been able to reach a resolution of the division’s concerns, thanks in part to the parties’ commitment to engage in good faith settlement talks from the outset of our investigation.”

Nexstar Sets $1.12B Offering Of Senior Notes

Nexstar Media Group announced today that it will offer up to $1.12 billion in new senior notes due 2027 to pay for its purchase of Tribune Media. On Nov. 30, 2018, Nexstar and Tribune Media entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Nexstar will acquire all outstanding shares of Tribune. Nexstar said it “intends to […]

QUARTERLY REPORT

Tribune 1Q TV Revenue Moves Up 3%

The increase to $453.4 million is pegged to 12% higher retrans money and growth in core advertising revenue.

Nexstar, Tribune Fire Back At Critics In Filing

Dismiss, deny and reject. That was Nexstar and Tribune’s advice to the FCC related to the various parties that petitioned the FCC to block their merger as not in the public interest. They were responding to petitions to deny filed six groups and concerns raised by NCTA—The Internet & Television Association and the American Television Alliance, both of which said that without various conditions the deal should be denied.

UPDATED AT 9:55 AM ET

Nexstar Selling 19 TVs In 15 Markets For $1.32B

The spinoffs reflect Nexstar’s regulatory compliance plan to secure approvals for its Tribune Media deal. Tegna is buying 11 stations in eight markets and Scripps gets eight stations in seven markets.

Tribune Stockholders Approve Nexstar Merger

Peter Kern, Tribune chief executive officer, said: “We’re extremely pleased with today’s vote. We look forward to continuing our work with Nexstar to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals that will enable us to close this transaction later this year.”

QUARTERLY REPORT

Tribune 4Q TV-Entertainment Rev Climbs 19%

The jump to $576.9 million was driven by an $89.2 million increase in political ad revenue and $158.3 million in retransmission and carriage fee revenues, partially offset by a $10.5 million, or 4%, decrease in core ad revenues.

DMA 21: ST. LOUIS

Kurt Krueger Upped To GM Of KTVI-KPLR

Tribune promotes the station manager of its Fox-CW duopoly in St. Louis to VP and general manager, succeeding Spencer Koch who retired last year.

Nexstar Identifies Divestiture Markets

Nexstar has identified three stations it plans to sell and 11 other markets where it intends to divest stations so that its acquisition of Tribune Media can obtain regulatory approvals. The first stations going on the block are WTKR Norfolk, Va.; WGNT Portsmouth, Va,; and WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Tribune Sells Remaining 5% Of Chicago Cubs

Tribune Media Co. and the Chicago Cubs announced Friday that Chicago Entertainment Ventures, the Cubs’ parent company, has completed the purchase of Tribune’s remaining 5% membership interests in Chicago Entertainment Ventures. The transaction occurred pursuant to the exercise of a purchase right under the parties’ agreements and concludes Tribune’s ownership interest in the Cubs and […]

RETRANS

Tribune And Charter Extend Retrans Deadline

Tribune Media and Charter’s Spectrum cable systems have agreed to extend the deadline for their carriage contract to 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, averting a blackout of 33 TV stations that would have taken effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

UPDATED, MONDAY, 12:55 PM ET

Nexstar To Spin Off $1B In Stations

The spinoffs necessary for regulatory approval will include stations in at least 13 of 15 markets: Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City; Des Moines, Iowa; Ft. Smith, Ark; Davenport, Iowa; Memphis, Grand Rapids, Mich; Indianapolis, Huntsville, Ala; Hartford, Conn.; Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Hagerstown, Md.; Richmond, Va; and Norfold, Va. Nexstar CEO Perry Sook says he expects those spinoffs will sell for around $1 billion.

Nexstar Buying Tribune In $4.1 Billion Deal

Nexstar Media Group has reached an agreement to acquire Tribune Media for about $4.1 billion, a deal which would make it the largest local U.S. TV station operator, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Report: Brady, Apollo Teaming For Tribune Bid

Reuters is reporting that Northwest Broadcasting’s Brian Brady is joining forces with private equity Apollo Global Management to make a bid for Tribune Media. The report also says that Nexstar is in the Tribune chase and that if it fails it will turn its sights on Cox Media’s TV group, which includes three Top 25 ABC affiliates.

 

Bidding To Get Busy On Tribune TVs, Fox RSNs

Bidding on two prime collections of local TV assets — Fox’s 22 regional sports networks and Tribune Media’s 42 TV stations and WGN America — will heat up this week in separate auctions that are expected to be concluded by year’s end. The nature of the players lining up for these properties, which include Amazon and private equity heavyweights, speaks volumes about the transformation of media economics, particularly for outlets that have historically operated with a narrow regional focus.

DMA 3: CHICAGO

Tribune Media Offers Buyouts To WGN Staff

Voluntary buyouts are being offered to employees of WGN-TV Chicago and news/talk WGN-AM as part of a year-end staff reduction throughout parent company Tribune Media. The move comes despite an 11% increase in third quarter revenues and a “strong operational year” for the company.

Sinclair Hits Another Merger Dead End

Sinclair, which suffered a blow in July when federal regulators stopped its proposed $6.6 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, has been quietly speaking to buyout firms, including Apollo Global Management, about teaming on a new bid for the Chicago-based rival. But so far, it continues to be shut out of the high-stakes media consolidation game and hasn’t been successful in shaping a buyout-backed offer, two sources say.

Ion, Cerberus, Hicks In Bid For Tribune

Ion Media — a privately held operator of 70 stations across the US — has joined buyout firm Cerberus Capital and Hicks Equity Partners in a bid to buy Tribune Media, according to a source close to the situation.

Justice Settles Antitrust Case Against 6 TV Groups

The Justice Department has settled with six TV station groups over what DOJ said was the “unlawful sharing of competitively sensitive” information on advertising that disrupted “the normal competitive process of spot advertising in markets across the United States.” The six: Sinclair Broadcast Group, Raycom Media, Tribune Media, Meredith Corp., Griffin Communications and Dreamcatcher Broadcasting.

Byron Allen Interested In Buying Tribune Media

Byron Allen, the comedian turned media mogul, is in the hunt to buy Tribune Media, the 42-station TV group, which went on the block for a second time earlier this year. Allen, who paid $300 million for the Weather Channel in April, owns Los Angeles-based Entertainment Studios, an independent movie production company, and has been on the prowl to expand his media footprint.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Tribune 3Q TV-Entertainment Rev Up 11%

The jump to $494.6 million was driven by a $37.3 million increase in political ad revenue, a $12 million increase in retransmission revenues and a $9.1 million increase in carriage fee revenues, partially offset by a $5.3 million, or 2%, decrease in core ad revenues.

Sony, Tribune To Debut Mel Robbins Talker

Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Broadcasting have teamed for a syndicated daytime talk show hosted by Mel Robbins. The one-hour show is sold in over 31% of the country and is slated to debut in fall 2019.

Trump-Aligned PAC Chairman Eyes Tribune

Tom Hicks Jr., the Texas-based chair of America First, a super PAC that’s aligned with Trump, is reported to be teaming up with Cerberus Capital to bid for Tribune Media and its 42 TV stations.

Bon-Ton Stores Files TV Ad Price-Fixing Suit

The defunct retailer has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Media and other big owners of local TV stations conspired to jack up the prices of local commercials, violating federal antirust laws.

Tribune Shuts Down Three Local Shows

Morning Dose on KIAH Houston, News Fix on KDAF Dallas and the late newscast at WDCW Washington are all ending within the next two weeks. The staff associated with those shows has been let go.

Tribune In New Sale Talks After Sinclair Collapse

TV station owner Tribune Media is kicking off a new round of talks to sell itself after its planned $3.9 billion sale to peer Sinclair Broadcast Group failed to get regulatory clearance, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. Tribune is working with financial advisers Moelis & Co. and Guggenheim Securities To field interest from potential buyers, including rival Nexstar Media Group and private equity firms, the sources said on Wednesday.

Sinclair Fires Back Against Tribune Suit

Following the collapsed merger and $1 billion lawsuit Tribune filed against Sinclair, Sinclair filed a countersuit, claiming that “Tribune, through its meritless lawsuit, is seeking to capitalize on an unfavorable and unexpected reaction from the [FCC] to capture a windfall for Tribune.”

Nexstar May Be Next To Chase Tribune

Perry Sook’s Nexstar Media Group may be hoping to succeed with Tribune Media where Sinclair Broadcasting failed. The chief executive of the second-largest TV station owner in the country met last week with the Justice Department’s antitrust boss, sources say.

Tribune Execs To Get Post-Sinclair Bonuses

Tribune Media will pay bonuses to executives who worked for more than 15 months on its failed merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group. The bonuses, which were disclosed in a filing on Tuesday, are for the company’s chief financial officer, Chandler Bigelow, as well as its president of broadcast media, Larry Wert, and its general counsel and chief strategy officer, Edward Lazarus.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Jessell: Tribune Starts Over, Sinclair Digs Out

Following the spectacular collapse of their merger, Tribune and Sinclair have to go back to work. For Tribune, that means putting up the “For Sale” sign again, with plenty of interested buyers out there. For Sinclair, things are ominous. First it must settle Tribune’s billion-dollar lawsuit, and then find a way back into the FCC’s good graces. That could prove costly, too.

Sinclair’s TV Ambitions Frustrated?

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s singularly nasty breakup with Tribune Media on Thursday may put a serious damper on the conservative-leaning broadcast giant’s ability to expand, despite its persisting hunger to do so. Although many suspected Tribune would pull the plug on the merger, few expected it to sue while accusing Sinclair of deception.

With Sinclair Gone, Is Tribune Buyer Or Seller?

The presumption of many is that it is still a seller, but Tribune CEO Peter Kern casts some doubt on that today, telling analysts that company may want to “enhance” its TV station portfolio.

UPDATED

Tribune Suing Sinclair For $1 Billion+

It says Sinclair broke its merger agreement by proposing “extremely risky and highly controversial divestitures to buyers that were specifically disfavored by the FCC staff,” deliberately omitted material facts from FCC applications and generally antagonizing “the regulators at both DOJ and the FCC while seeking their approval.”

UPDATED

Tribune Kills Sinclair Merger, Files Suit

At the same time as it ends the $3.9 billion deal, it files a lawsuit seeking compensation “for all losses incurred as a result of Sinclair’s material breaches of the merger agreement.” It also releases its second quarter earnings results that included Television and Entertainment segment revenues of $486.4 million, up 4% from $466.1 million in 2Q 2017.

Is Sinclair-Tribune About To Die?

Wednesday is the first day Tribune can walk away from the $3.9 billion deal that would give the already huge local television company an even broader reach into American living rooms. With Sinclair stuck in regulatory limbo, analysts expect Tribune to seek another buyer. Wednesday was the deal breakup date specified in the original merger agreement. Sources at both companies said Tribune is likely to walk away.

House Dems Want New FCC Sinclair Probe

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai sent Tuesday, Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), the top Democrats on the House committee overseeing the FCC, said that the commission should look into the possibility that Sinclair had conspired with Tribune Media, which it’s trying to acquire.