Nexstar Media Group to Acquire Tribune Media for $4.1B

Telecom company, which already reaches 39 percent of U.S. households, adds WGN America and 42 other Tribune networks, Reuters reports

Last Updated: December 2, 2018 @ 2:14 PM

Nexstar Media Group has come to an agreement on a $4.1 billion deal to purchase Tribune Media and its 42 local and regional networks, Reuters reported Sunday.

Nexstar outbid private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC with an all-cash offer. The Texas-headquartered telecommunications company already owns 174 TV networks, reaching 39 percent of U.S. households. Along with the 42 local networks that combine to reach 50 million homes, Tribune also has a stake in Food Network and owns WGN America, which has a reach of 77 million homes nationwide.

The deal comes three months after Tribune terminated a planned purchase by Sinclair Broadcast Group and suing it on claims that Sinclair delayed the deal by being too aggressive with regulators. The FCC has also noted that Sinclair did not disclose pre-existing relationships the media group had with prospective buyers when negotiating the Tribune deal. Sinclair has filed a countersuit.

The collapse of the deal was met with strong criticism by President Donald Trump, who said the deal would have provided “a great and much needed Conservative voice for and of the People.” Sinclair has been criticized by Trump’s opponents for taking a conservative bent in much of its news coverage, with reports surfacing that the media group mandated its networks air segments in support of Trump and Republicans and commercials lambasting “fake news.”

Nexstar and Tribune have not publicly commented on reports of the sale, though Reuters reports that the sale is expected to be announced on Monday.