Tegna Completes Justice, Quest Purchase

It closes on the $77 million purchase of the 85% of the two diginets it didn’t own. Tegna taps Brian Weiss, former president and general manager of Cooper Media, as their president.

Tegna Inc. today said that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of 24/7 multicast networks Justice Network and Quest from Cooper Media.

Tegna paid approximately $77 million in cash for the approximately 85% of the two networks it did not previously own, valuing Justice and Quest at $91 million. Brian Weiss, former president and general manager of Cooper Media, has joined Tegna as president of Justice Network and Quest. He and the networks’ team will continue to be based in Atlanta.

“As consumer television viewing habits shift, Tegna continues to seek opportunities to take full advantage of emerging trends,” said Tegna President-CEO Dave Lougee. “Justice and Quest allow us to capitalize on over-the-air viewers, which have increased more than 48% over the past eight years, with the kind of impactful and entertaining content consumers are demanding.”

Justice Network and Quest offer ad-supported programing and reach more than 87 million television homes. Justice Network is focused on the true-crime genre, while Quest features factual-entertainment programming such as science, history and adventure-reality series. Tegna says both are among the fastest-growing and top distributed entertainment multicast networks in the U.S.

Tegna financed the transaction through the use of available cash and borrowing under its existing credit facility, and the acquisition will not have a material impact on Tegna’s leverage. The transaction is expected to be accretive to EPS within the first 12 months and immediately accretive to free cash flow.

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