With Sinclair Gone, Is Tribune Buyer Or Seller?
In the wake of the monumental collapse of its merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Media CEO Peter Kern is not racing to find another way out of the broadcast business.
In fact, in a call with security analysts following release of its second-quarter results this morning, Kern said it may want to get in deeper. “We have a strong broadcast portfolio that potentially we may want to enhance.”
The regulatory environment is conducive for buying and selling, he said. The Sinclair merger cratered not because of “unwelcoming” regulators, but because of the way Sinclair dealt with them.
Just before the call, Tribune pronounced that its $3.9 billion merger was dead, having given up all hope that Sinclair could clear the deal with the FCC and the Justice Department.
It also sued Sinclair for breach of contract, alleging that its “aggressive tactics” in dealing with the regulators was the reason it couldn’t win their approval. In the suit, Tribune is asking for more than $1 billion in damages.
“So, we feel the environment remains welcoming and open to sensible consolidation and there’s a ton of activity out there … about other players being in the market,” Kern said.
“We really like our position. We are performing well and given our balance sheet, given our assortment of assets, we remain … open to all opportunities … in terms of further consolidation in the industry as well as pushing our businesses as hard as we can push them.”