A BIG DEAL, INDEED: Tribune gets Local TV LLC for $2.725 billion

Deal will make Tribune the country's largest commercial TV station owner

Tribune Company and Local TV LLC have announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for Tribune to acquire all of Local TV’s 19 television stations in 16 key markets for $2.725 billion in cash.

The move will give Tribune, which owns CW affiliate KPLR in St. Louis, ownership of the station that runs that one, KTVI-FOX 2(Tribune also owns and operates Indianapolis-market FOX affiliate WXIN and CW affiliate WTTV/WTTK. -Ed.)

Upon closing, the acquisition will immediately transform Tribune into the country’s largest commercial TV station owner, with a total of 42 stations from New York to Los Angeles and Miami to Seattle. Importantly, because most of Local TV’s stations are ranked #1 or #2 in revenue share in their respective markets, the transaction will generate significant free cash flow and be immediately accretive to Tribune’s earnings.

“This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune — it makes us the #1 local TV affiliate group in America, expands the distribution platform for our high-quality video content, and extends the reach of our digital products to new audiences across the country,” said Peter Liguori, Tribune’s president and CEO. “We couldn’t be more excited about Tribune’s future as America’s leader in creating and distributing original content and local news programming.”

Bobby Lawrence, CEO of Local TV, said, “Local TV and Tribune have had a long, successful relationship over the last five years. Our cultures and operating philosophies are very similar, and we share a strong commitment to news and local programming excellence. My management team will dearly miss working with some of the most talented and dedicated people in broadcasting, but we know we leave our employees in good hands. I am grateful to our partners at Oak Hill Capital, who acquired the finest stations in the industry and helped us build this great company.”

Tribune’s broadcast portfolio will increase from 23 to 42 stations, and include 14 CW affiliates, 14 FOX affiliates, 5 CBS affiliates, 3 ABC affiliates, 2 NBC affiliates and 4 independents. Tribune will own 14 stations in the country’s top 20 markets. It will become the #1 FOX affiliate group, expand its position as the #1 CW affiliate group, and add market-leading stations in prime cities such as Denver, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee.

Tribune will finance the transaction through a combination of debt financing and a portion of its cash on hand.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both Tribune and Local TV and is expected to close by the end of 2013, subject to antitrust and FCC approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Click past the jump to see the full list of stations Tribune will own after the merger is completed.

more coverage

(Current Local TV LLC stations listed in bold blue type)

(Listed from largest to
Call Sign(s)Affiliation(s)
New York, N.Y.WPIXThe CW, This TV
Los Angeles, Calif.KTLAThe CW, Antenna TV, This TV
Chicago, Ill.WGNThe CW, Antenna TV
Philadelphia, Pa.WPHLMyNetwork TV, Antenna TV, This TV, Tango Traffic
Dallas, Tex.KDAFThe CW, Antenna TV, This TV
Washington, D.C.WDCWThe CW, Antenna TV, This TV
Houston, Tex.KIAHThe CW, Antenna TV
Seattle, Wash.KCPQ
MyNetwork TV, Antenna TV
Miami, Fla.WSFLThe CW, Azteca America, Antenna TV, This TV
Denver, Colo.KWGN
The CW, This TV
FOX, Antenna TV
Cleveland, OhioWJWFOX, Antenna TV
Sacramento, Calif.KTXLFOX, Antenna TV
St. Louis, Mo.KTVI
FOX, Antenna TV
The CW, This TV
Portland, Ore.KRCWThe CW, Antenna TV, This TV
Indianapolis, Ind.WXIN
FOX, Antenna TV
The CW, This TV
San Diego, Calif.KSWBFOX, Antenna TV, This TV
Hartford, Conn.WTIC
FOX, Antenna TV
The CW, This TV
Kansas City, Mo.WDAFFOX, Antenna TV
Salt Lake City, UtahKSTUFOX, Antenna TV
Milwaukee, Wis.WITIFOX, Antenna TV
Grand Rapids, Mich.WXMIFOX, Antenna TV, This TV
Oklahoma City, Okla.KFOR
NBC, Antenna TV
Harrisburg, Pa.WPMTFOX, Antenna TV
Norfolk, Va.WTKR
The CW, Antenna TV
Greensboro, N.C.WGHPFOX, Antenna TV
Memphis, Tenn.WREGCBS, Antenna TV
New Orleans, La.WGNO
ABC, Antenna TV
The CW, This TV
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.WNEPABC, Antenna TV
Richmond, Va.WTVRCBS, Antenna TV
Des Moines, IowaWHONBC, Antenna TV
Huntsville, Ala.WHNTCBS, Antenna TV
Moline, Ill.WQADABC, Antenna TV, MyNetwork TV
Fort Smith, Ark.KFSM
CBS, MyNetworkTV, Antenna TV
MyNetwork TV, Antenna TV, CBS


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