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Nexstar Completes Tribune Media Acquisition

IRVING, Texas—After receiving FCC approval earlier in the week, Nexstar announced on Sept. 19 that it has officially completed its acquisition of Tribune Media Company for $7.2 billion. In conjunction, Nexstar also announced it completed the divestitures of 21 TV stations for $1.33 billion to comply with federal regulations.

As a result of the merger, the combined Nexstar-Tribune becomes the largest U.S. broadcaster, owning or servicing 197 stations in 115 markets, which works out to reach 39% of U.S. TV households. Also as part of the acquisition, Nexstar took over as the owners of WGN America and received a 31.3% ownership stake in the Food Network.

Three former members of Tribune’s senior management have been appointed to new positions as part of Nexstar. Sean Compton is now the executive vice president of WGN America, WGN Radio and director of content acquisition. Dana Zimmer was named the executive vice president and chief distribution and strategy officer. Gary Weitman will take over the role as executive vice president and chief communications officer.

“The completion of our accretive acquisition of Tribune Media increases Nexstar’s geographic diversity and audience reach with national coverage and an expanded presence in top 50 DMAs, while offering complementary media assets and investments, scale driven synergies and further cash flow diversification,” said Perry Sook, Nexstar chairman and president.

“Today, the Nexstar team is comprised of more than 13,000 talented team members across America united by a common vision focused on localism, innovation and growth, as well as a passion for professional excellence.”

Sook says Nexstar will now produce more than 254,000 hours of local news, entertainment, sports, lifestyle and network programming.