FTVLIve FIRST told you that Nexstar was planning on buying the Tribune stations for just over $4 billion dollars.
The deal will make Nexstar the largest owner of local-TV stations in the U.S. passing up Sinclair, who originally tried to buy Tribune but the deal went south when they lied to the FCC.
First off, for the people working at Tribune, this is better news than being owned by Sinclair. Nexstar is not exactly the pillar of Journalism, but they likely will not be forcing their anchors to read Donald Trump’s talking points like Sinclair has done.
To be honest, the way Nexstar operates is much like Tribune has operated as of the last few years. While Tribune was once a great media company, the last few years it has been a shell of its former self and just tried to run things on the cheap.
That is pretty much how Nexstar runs things as well. So, for you working at Tribune station now, it will be pretty much run the same as your used to.
As for the deal between Nexstar and Tribune. When it is all said and done, it will look a lot different than it does on paper right now.
There are 11 markets where there is overlap that will have to be dealt with. Also, remember Fox was planning on buying 7 Tribune stations from Sinclair when the deal was done? You can expect that Nexstar will sell station to Fox and it could be as many as 9 stations (Indianapolis and Kansas City could be added).
Also, this deal will put Nexstar over the ownership cap and they will have to deal with that. Sinclair was hoping to have the cap expanded and that was in their plans. But, now that the Democrats have won back the house, it is likely that the cap will not be raised and Nexstar will need to sell some stations.
A lot will be happening as Nexstar will be working to bring this deal into FCC compliance, but you can bet, Nexstar will be much more upfront with the FCC than Sinclair was.
Also, don’t be surprised if Sinclair does not end up with a few of the Nexstar cast off stations before this is all said and done.