Relationship Over? (Updated)


Tribune has scheduled a conference call for 8am this morning and it is likely that they will announce that they are using their option to walk away from the proposed Sinclair deal. 

More than a year ago, Sinclair announced that they were going to buy the Tribune stations for almost $4 Billion dollars and the announcement sent shockwaves through the industry. 

Sinclair is a company that runs stations on the cheap and cares much more about pushing their conservative agenda, than actually covering news. The company forced the main anchors at their stations to read a message that parroted Donald Trump's talking points about the media. Stations are force to run stories that heap praise of Trump and push their right wing agenda. 

The fact that Sinclair was going to have such a wide reach in large markets served by Tribune stations brought unprecedented opposition to the proposed deal. 

In the end, it was Sinclair's greed, deceit and cockiness that made the FCC turn thumbs down on the deal and made many in and around the TV industry very happy. 

The deadline has come where either Sinclair or Tribune can walk away from the deal officially. It is expected that at 8AM this morning that is exactly what Tribune will announce and end what has been a very long nightmare for those working a Tribune stations. 

Then again, Tribune is not exactly the best run company either and they could announce that they are staying and going to stick it out with Sinclair. 

Let's hope that's not the case. 

As FTVLive FIRST reported, it is expected that Fox is going to swoop in and make an offer for at least a portion of the Tribune stations. 

Stay tuned....   

Updated: FTVLive has gotten our hands on the internal memo sent to the employees at Tribune. They pulled the plug on the Sinclair deal Whew!!!!

The memo also throws Sinclair under the bus. 

Here is the memo: 

From Peter Kern:

Tribune Team,

Earlier this morning we announced the termination of our proposed merger with Sinclair and that we have filed a lawsuit against Sinclair for breach of contract—attached is the press release we issued a short time ago.

Given the developments of the last few weeks, and the decision by the Federal Communications Commission to refer certain issues to an administrative law judge in light of Sinclair’s conduct, it’s highly unlikely that this transaction could ever receive FCC approval and be completed, and certainly not within an acceptable timeframe.  This delay and uncertainty would be detrimental to our company, to our business partners, to our employees and to our shareholders.  Accordingly, our Board made the decision to terminate the merger agreement with Sinclair to enable us to refocus on our many opportunities to drive the company forward and enhance shareholder value.

As for the lawsuit, we are confident that Sinclair did not live up to its obligations under the merger agreement and we intend to hold them accountable.  A suit like this does not get resolved overnight and it is the last thing you should be thinking about, but I want you to know that Tribune did everything it was supposed to do, and we will make sure we are treated fairly.

Right now, I am sure many of you are still absorbing the news and wondering what it means for our company, for our future, and most especially for each of you.  I want to take a moment to answer these questions and address some of your concerns as we now re-adjust to the old normal of running our great and storied Tribune Media Company. 

So, let’s begin there—Tribune Media remains as strong as ever, with great TV stations, important local news and sports programming, a re-energized and financially powerful cable network, and a terrific history of serving our viewers, our advertisers, and our MVPD and network partners.  You need look no further than the exceptional financial results we released today for proof of that.  Our consistent success is directly related to your talent, your experience, your innovation, and your willingness to give your best every day. 

As for the future, we continue to live in complex times in the media world.  New consumer habits, new entrants to the space, new competitors every day, and consolidation going on all around us.  Rapid change has become the norm—it’s impossible to predict the next big thing.  What I do know, though, is that we’ve got valuable assets, great people running them, and we remain one of the preeminent broadcasting companies in America.   

No doubt the rumor mill will begin anew with speculation about who might buy us or who we might buy or whether the regulatory landscape still favors consolidation.  We can’t do anything about such speculation.   What we can do is rededicate ourselves to our own performance.  Let’s shake off the cobwebs of deal distraction, ignore the outside noise, and continue delivering on our commitment to each other, to our customers, to our partners and to the communities we serve.  If we do that, the rest will take care of itself.   

Let’s get together for a companywide town hall meeting tomorrow at Noon ET.  We’ll broadcast the meeting live to our business units, talk more about all these issues and take your questions—you can submit questions in advance of the meeting to:  In the meantime, if you have any concerns, our HR team is ready to help; and Gary Weitman can handle any media inquiries you might get. 

Thank you, again,