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Posts Tagged ‘Allbritton Communications’

Sinclair Announces Funding for Allbritton Purchase

sinclair_allbrittonSinclair Broadcast Group announced it has lined up the funding to buy Allbritton Communications.

In a press release, the station group announced Sinclair Television Group, a subsidiary, has closed its private offering of $550 million worth of senior unsecured notes due in 2024. Sinclair said it plans to use the money from the funds along with $400 million in loans, a revolving credit line and cash to pay for the deal.

Last July, Sinclair announced it was buying Allbritton for $985 million.

The station group reportedly cleared the last hurdle blocking approval of the deal last week by agreeing to a settlement with the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. As part of the deal, Sinclair agreed to sell Harrisburg, PA, ABC affiliate WHTM as soon as the purchase goes through.

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American Cable Association Petitions FCC Over Sinclair’s Latest Purchase

aca_logo_croppedThe American Cable Association has filed a petition asking the FCC to either restrict or deny Sinclair Broadcast Group’s purchase of New Age Media’s television stations.

The ACA is taking a different stance than other organizations who oppose Sinclair’s buying spree. The ACA is making it primarily about money. They’re concerned Sinclair could leverage its sidecar agreements and gang up on local cable providers to squeeze more money out of them rather than negotiate station by station.

In its FCC filing, the organization said, “ACA is concerned about the effect of the transaction on two markets where the transaction would result in Sinclair entering into agreements that allow it to coordinate the negotiation of retransmission consent agreements for two top-four rated Big Four television stations.” Read more

Sinclair’s Buy of Allbritton’s Stations Gets Second Look from DOJ

sinclair_allbrittonBoth Sinclair Broadcasting and Allbritton Communications have been asked for more information in Sinclair’s proposed buy of Allbritton’s Harrisburg, PA, and Charleston, SC, stations.

In a release, Sinclair said the two station groups intend to “respond promptly” to the move otherwise known as a “Second Request.” Sinclair added, “Although there can be no assurances, the parties expect the transaction to close in the first or second quarter of 2014.”

Sinclair already owns CBS affiliate WHP in Harrisburg and FOX affiliate WTAT in Charleston, SC. The deal would add ABC affiliates WHTM in Harrisburg and WCIV in Charleston. Read more

Sinclair to Buy Allbritton Stations for $985 Million

Sinclair Broadcasting has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to buy the stock of Perpetual Corporation and equity interest of Charleston Television, LLC, both owned by Allbritton for an aggregate purchase of $985 million.

Allbritton owns seven ABC affiliates including WJLA in Washington, D.C. and KATV in Little Rock, AR, as well as NewsChannel 8, a 24 hour cable news network covering Washington, D.C.

David Smith, the President and CEO of Sinclair, says he is “especially excited” about adding Albritton’s 24-hour news channel to Sinclair. “We are especially excited to acquire the NewsChannel 8 local news channel, not only for the content it can provide our existing news stations, but moreover because their regional cable presence provides the perfect platform should we decide to expand it into other markets, especially given the amount of local news we produce across our entire portfolio.”

If approved by the FCC, which should occur by the end of the year, Sinclair will own or provide sales and programming services to 149 television stations in 76 markets across the country.

You can see the list of Allbritton’s stations after the jump.

Read more

No Longer TBD, WJLA Launches New Website

WJLA‘s stint with TBD.com is now but a distant memory, or at least just a small link at the top of the ABC-affiliate’s new website.

Launching a brand-new website this week, WJLA has asserted its independence from TBD.com, the local news site that Allbritton launched in August to house its D.C area media outlets.

“We’re delighted to have you back,” reads a post on the new WJLA.com, announcing the relaunched website and alluding to the apparent erosion of WJLA’s online audience during its time under TBD’s roof. The post goes on to say… Read more

Brushing TBD.com Aside, D.C.’s WJLA Prepares to Launch New Website

The name has turned out to be more accurate than perhaps originally intended as TBD.com, Allbritton’s local news site launched in partnership with D.C. ABC-affiliate WJLA last August, is about to take on a new identity following Allbritton’s decision to give command of the property to WJLA’s Bill Lord.

In a post on Monday, TBD and WJLA announced that they will be launching a “two-pronged online approach to covering news, traffic, weather, and much more” next week.

Previously TBD had served as the umbrella site for WJLA, as well as Allbritton’s regional cable news station News Channel 8, but now, as part of what Lord has called a “mid-course correction” for the online property, WJLA will launch a new, more autonomous website. Read more

Taking Over TBD, WJLA’s Bill Lord Plans ‘Mid-Course Correction’

As Bill Lord, WJLA’s general manager and news director, takes control of TBD, the Allbritton-owned web entity will undergo a “mid-course correction.”

Lord plans on scrapping TBD’s umbrella status over WJLA and bringing back the station’s independent website WJLA.com. He plans on also doing the same for Allbritton’s all-news cable channel–reestablishing its internet autonomy while also dumping its new moniker, TBD-TV, in favor of its original name NewsChannel 8.

“Our plan is to have two TV stations, broadcast and cable, and two websites,” Lord told Poynter contributor Scott Libin recently. “All four will have a certain level of commonality of staff. Everybody has to participate in the online effort, or it won’t work.”

Lord plans on maintaining and promoting the standalone TBD.com but will leave less of its business operations under “TBD” status.  “I don’t think there were specific goals,” Lord told Libin about TBD’s launch, “but there will be now.”

Allbritton Hands Control of TBD.com to WJLA

Allbritton Communications is handing control of local news site TBD.com to ABC-affiliate WJLA.

TBD.com was launched last August as part of Allbritton’s strategy to cohere its D.C. news outlets. WJLA has been a content partner of TBD.com along with its sister station TBD TV, the cable news channel formerly known as News Channel 8.

According to the Washington Post, which first reported the change, WJLA’s news director and general manager Bill Lord will now oversee TBD.

There has been conflict atop TBD nearly since its launch.  Just three months after TBD.com went live, Jim Brady, who oversaw the site’s creation, left because he differed with Albritton executives “over broader strategy.”

Retrans Deal with Comcast Hushes Allbritton’s Criticism of NBCU Merger

While lobbying the FCC to approve its proposed merger with NBC Universal, Comcast was also trying to make nice with another skeptic.

In the weeks leading up to the government’s approval, Comcast was in talks with  Allbritton Communications, a vehement opponent of the proposed merger.

Now it appears that Comcast was able to satisfy the concerns of Allbritton Communications by negotiating a new retrans deal with the broadcasting company, which owns several local stations including D.C. ABC-affiliate WJLA.

According to Adweek, Comcast and Allbritton quietly agreed to a new retrans deal in December for Allbritton’s TBD TV, an all-news cable channel serving the greater D.C. area.  Adweek points out:

The agreement represented a rather dramatic shift in relations between the two companies. Allbritton … opposed the Comcast/NBCU transaction from the start, filing with the Federal Communications Commission and running an aggressive advertising campaign in the local print media. Read more