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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Allbritton’

Robert Allbritton on Sinclair Deal: ‘It’s Great To Do a Deal, But it’s Kind of Tough to Walk Away’

robert allbrittonOn the heels of the FCC’s approval of the Sinclair-Allbritton deal, Robert Allbritton talks to Politico (also owned by Albritton Communications) about his thoughts on getting out of the television business:

“Hey it’s great to do a deal, but it’s kind of tough to walk away. I’ve been doing this 20 years personally, and you don’t walk away from that without some thoughts,” Robert Allbritton said in an interview. “It’s going to be a good business for a while to come, but man, I’m 45 and I don’t know if it’s going to be a good business for the rest of my life.”

Allbritton said Internet-based communications are the way things are headed. “What you guys at POLITICO are doing is the future,” he said. “It’s just the way media is changing now, and man, is it changing fast.”

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Allbritton Exploring Sale of Television Stations

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.