Tribune Media, the parent company which owns FOX 17, has announced a merger agreement with Nexstar Media Group, the parent company of WOOD TV, WOTV and WXSP , that will acquire Tribune for a value of $6.4 billion.
Nexstar will have to achieve regulatory approval from the FCC before the deal is approved. The company acknowledged it will have to sell some local TV stations to get approved, according to a report from CNN.
In a statement, Tribune Media’s CEO Peter Kern says the move “will create the preeminent local broadcast company — one that will have greater scale and more resources to serve all the communities in which we operate,” he said.
Kern says Tribune hopes to close the transaction by the third quarter of 2019. This all comes after Sinclair tried to buy Tribune, but the FCC ruled it would create a monopoly, meaning Sinclair would have owned too many stations.
“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Nexstar as it provides Tribune shareholders with substantial value and a well-defined path to closing. Together with Nexstar we can better compete by delivering a nationally integrated, comprehensive and competitive offering across all our markets,” Kern said.
Following the completion of the transaction, Nexstar will benefit from increased operational and geographic diversity and scale as a result of Tribune Media’s diverse portfolio of media assets including 42 owned or operated broadcast television stations in major U.S. markets.
Like Tribune, Nexstar recognizes the importance of being “local” as one of its core values and prioritizes the production of high-quality local news. Once joined together, the combined company will produce almost 300,000 hours of local news and content, Kern said.