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US: FCC will take public comments on Sinclair-Tribune merger

 |  May 22, 2018

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will take new comments from the public on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s US$3.9 billion bid for Tribune Media, reported Reuters.

The agency is reopening its review of the merger for public comments after the two companies proposed to sell off some local stations in an effort to bring the deal in line with media ownership restrictions.

Earlier this month, Sinclair chief executive Chris Ripley told investors he expects the deal to close by early in the third quarter.

The combined company plans to sell 14 Tribune stations and 9 Sinclair stations for US$1.6 billion to win regulatory approval. The companies plan to sell the stations to Standard Media Group, Meredith, Howard Stirk and Cunningham Broadcasting.

The Tribune stations include WGN-TV in Chicago and stations in Denver, Cleveland and San Diego, and nine Sinclair stations, including outlets in Des Moines, Iowa, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

A federal appeals court in Washington is currently considering a case on whether to strike down an FCC decision that allows companies to only partially count some stations against a cap that does not allow any one company to serve more than 39% of US television households.

Full Content: Reuters

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