$3.9B buyout of Tribune by Sinclair ends in acrimony
The $3.9 billion buyout of Tribune Media by Sinclair collapsed Thursday, ending a bid to create a media juggernaut that could have rivaled the reach of Fox News.
Tribune Media Co. said Thursday it is suing Sinclair for breach of contract and at least $1 billion in damages, according to its complaint.
Sinclair used “unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations” with the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission over regulatory requirements, the Chicago company said, and it refused to sell the stations it needed to in order to gain regulatory approval.
Sinclair Broadcast Group wanted the TMC’s 42 TV stations and had initially agreed to dump almost two dozen of its own to score FCC approval.
The media company, which enjoyed President Donald Trump’s support, appeared to be cruising toward approval by regulators.
Sinclair operates 192 stations and runs 611 channels in 89 U.S. markets. The Tribune acquisition would have allowed for rapid expansion in numerous new markets.
The Maryland company said in a prepared statement the Tribune lawsuit is “entirely without merit.”