Allbritton Communications Company, the parent company of Politico and several ABC affiliates around the country, is considering a sale of its television stations, Politico’s Dylan Byers reports. In a memo to Politico staffers, chairman and CEO Robert Allbritton said the potential sale comes with the desire to “stay on the leading edge” of the rapidly changing media business:
As excited as I am about my future and the company’s, it is not an easy decision to contemplate a break from something that is such an important part of our history. I love the television business, and am deeply appreciative of the success I have had in it. I have treasured working with the media professionals at all of our stations, and in recent years, I have especially enjoyed watching the collaboration here in Washington between POLITICO and WJLA / NewsChannel 8. I have always respected the deep connections with communities that our stations have, and am always humbled by the responsibilities—to citizens, to our employees, and to the next generation—that come with ownership. Those responsibilities are what led me to consider a sale now. This industry is in the midst of rapid consolidation and there are some clear advantages that come with increased scale. I want to ensure that our stations are well-positioned to continue their extraordinary success and participate in all of the new prospects for broadcasting going forward.
Allbritton writes he will look to “invest in or launch media companies that follow the POLITICO model of dominating targeted coverage.” Read his full memo here.
Allbritton owns seven stations: WJLA in Washington, D.C.; WHTM in Harrisburg, Pa.; WBMA in Birmingham, Ala.; KATV in Little Rock, Ark.; KTUL in Tulsa; WSET in Roanoke, Va.; and WCIV in Charleston, S.C. The company also owns NewsChannel8, a 24-hour local cable channel in Washington, D.C.