Tribune Doubles Down on Television, Buys Local TV
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If anyone had any doubts as to where Tribune
Acquiring Local TV will increase Tribune's stable of local network-affiliated television stations to 42 spread out among 16 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Seattle. Tribune will also become the largest affiliate of 21st Century Fox
So, who said TV is dead?
"This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune," CEO Peter Liguori, the longtime television executive hired in January, said in a conference call with investors. "Our investment thesis is simple: scale matters. Scale enhances all elements of our business."
Shares of Tribune, which trade over-the-counter, gained 5.5% to close on Monday at $60.
The former chairman of Fox Broadcasting, Liguori said Tribune's expanded television holdings will give the company more clout when negotiating deals with the network and advertisers as well as in the development of new content.
The acquisition follows a similar deal by Gannett
Tribune, the company said in a statement, will become the country's largest commercial TV station owner once the deal closes later this quarter. Tribune also said the deal will be immediately accretive to Tribune earnings, an important point considering the company exited bankruptcy in December after a messy four-year effort to clean-up its finances following its 2007 buyout led by the real estate mogul Sam Zell.
The acquisition of Local TV, based in Newport, KY., comes as Tribune has hired Evercore Partners and JPMorgan Chase to explore the possible sale of its eight daily newspapers, a group that includes the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel, the Baltimore Sun and the Hartford Courant. Among those interested in buying Tribune's newspapers are David and Charles Koch, the multi-billionaire owners of the oil and chemicals conglomerate Koch Industries.