Updated 9:45 a.m. ET
Allbritton Communications said Wednesday it is exploring
"strategic alternatives," including possibly selling the company's TV
and cable properties. If so, the company plans to put some of that money into Politico, the Hill newspaper and website,
which the company launched in 2007.
Allbritton has retained Moelis & Company LLC as
financial adviser and Dow Lohnes as strategic adviser.
Allbritton said in a statement that there is no timetable
for a decision, and no guarantee it will actually sell its seven ABC affiliates
as well as regional news net NewsChannel 8.
In a note to stations, Allbritton chairman Robert Allbritton
said the reason for exploring the sale was twofold: "First, the demand for
television properties is high, given their strong and stable financial
performance. Second, there is an unmistakable trend towards consolidation in
this industry, as the largest media groups see clear benefits in holding
The properties potentially up for sale are WJLA-TV and
NewsChannel 8, both Washington; WCFT-TV/WJSU-TV/WBMA-LP,
Birmingham-Tuscaloosa-Anniston, Ala.; WHTM-TV Harrisburg, Pa.; KATV Little
Rock, Ark.; KTUL Tulsa, Okla.; WSET-TV Lynchburg, Va.; and WCIV Charleston, W.
Robert Allbritton told staffers at Politico that there was not chance he would be selling that
"Let me be unmistakably clear to you and
potential buyers: there is no chance, none, I will sell Politico as part of the deal," he wrote in a note to Politico staffers. "My future is Politico and companies like it. In fact,
my plan is to invest even more in Politico
and to place additional bets on media companies that meet my definition of
successful journalistic and business enterprises."