Well, the nightmare for many Tribune employees just got a lot more real.
Sinclair announced this morning that it is buying the Tribune stations for $3.9 billion dollars. This is the first step of the process, but this is going to have a huge impact on the industry.
Here is the internal email sent out to the staff at the Sinclair stations and obtained by FTVLive:
From: Johanna Macauley
Sent: Monday, May 08, 2017 9:03 AM
Subject: Sinclair Broadcast Group To Acquire Tribune Media Company For Approximately $3.9 Billion
BCCed: SBG ALL
****From Chris Ripley: President & CEO:
Today we announced a historic transaction for our Company; the acquisition of Tribune Media Company. This acquisition will create a leading media platform that includes our country's largest markets and will further our commitment to connecting people with content everywhere. This is a pivotal time for broadcast, and we are excited to reach more communities across the United States, as well as better serve our consumers and advertisers with new technologies that will super charge our capabilities. Thank you to the many people who worked tirelessly to make this happen and better position us for the future.
And here is the email sent to the Tribune employees:
-------- Original message --------
From: Peter Kern
Date: 5/8/17 6:03 AM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: Tribune Media To Be Acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Today marks another important step forward in the 170-year evolution of Tribune Media. Early this morning we announced we have agreed to be acquired by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, creating a local broadcasting company unmatched in its ability to deliver high-quality local content to millions of viewers across the country.
Bringing Sinclair and Tribune Media together creates a powerhouse in local television broadcasting, with more than 200 local TV stations in 100 markets across the country, delivering roughly 200,000 hours of local news annually. The combined company also will also be home to two popular cable networks, WGN America and The Tennis Channel, a variety of multicast networks, a diverse mix of digital properties, and five radio stations, anchored by WGN Radio in Chicago.
This transaction makes a great deal of financial sense, too. Together, we expect Sinclair and Tribune Media will generate nearly $5 billion in annual revenue, providing the new company with the strategic and financial flexibility to make investments that drive growth and benefit consumers, employees and shareholders alike. We believe the combined company will be stronger, more diverse and better able to compete within the rapidly evolving media landscape.
Perhaps most important, Sinclair has a long and proud tradition of service to the community, just as we do. In the last year, Sinclair expanded local news broadcasts in 11 markets; this year the company has plans to expand in 14 more. In the last year alone, Sinclair produced more than 100 community-based town hall meetings covering a variety of topics. We’re confident that the combined resources of our companies will allow us to do even more to deliver local, relevant content and empower audiences.
As you know, today’s announcement is the culmination of a strategic review that began in February of last year. During the past 15 months, working together across the company, we have streamlined our business, monetized non-core assets, strengthened our balance sheet and returned substantial capital to our shareholders. Thank you for your constant hard work and support as we’ve engaged in this process. You should be tremendously proud of what this transaction says about the value you have created at Tribune Media.
This transaction will take some time to get through the regulatory process, though we are confident that the benefits of this business combination will be as clear in Washington as they are on Wall Street. In the meantime, it is business as usual for us. I know you will continue delivering the same outstanding work you do every day—serving our communities with energy, dedication and commitment.
I’m sure you have many questions about today’s announcement, so we are planning a town hall meeting tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. We’ll discuss the transaction and take your questions.
I am excited by the prospects ahead for this company and for all our employees. There is much we can and will achieve by bringing Tribune Media and Sinclair Broadcast Group together.