Sinclair: TV Station Owners Rush to Seize on Looser Rules

In FCC and Internet On
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The media industry has been rife with consolidation in recent years: Cable companies, film studios and telecommunications firms have all been bought and sold at a rapid clip.

Now, local television stations are at the center of the deal-making frenzy.

Last week, a day after the Federal Communications Commission eased regulations over how many stations an owner may have, Sinclair Broadcasting, the largest local broadcast group in the country, said it would buy 14 New York-based stations for $240 million.

The timing of Sinclair’s deal may not have hinged directly on the change, but it demonstrated a demand for broadcast station mergers. Sinclair did not reply to requests for comment.

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Sinclair Will Pay $3.9 Billion For Tribune

In an era of information saturation, when cable news seems ubiquitous and Twitter posts stream forth uninterrupted, local television still holds a powerful grip on the American consciousness. And the Sinclair Broadcast Group just tightened its grasp.

Already the largest owner of local television stations in the United States, Sinclair said Monday that it had agreed to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, beating out other suitors including Nexstar and 21st Century Fox. With the deal, Sinclair would reach more than 70 percent of American households, with stations in many major markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, giving it significant heft at a time of increasing consolidation in the industry.

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