Clock still ticking on Univision-HBC merger

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With finishing touches being put on the Univision/Hispanic Broadcasting
merger, Federal Communications Commission’s expected approval of the deal stands
a less than 50/50 chance of being announced this week, Washington sources say,
with a better chance of an official OK coming next week or immediately after the
Labor Day holiday.

Word circulating in the investment community is that the three GOP
commissioners have agreed to approve the deal under previous ownership limits in
effect when the deal was announced last year.

The only condition will be divestiture of broadcast stations in San Antonio
and Houston, where HBC owns six radio stations, exceeding local ownership limits
under old rules.

Approval of the deal has been delayed in part by debate over whether it
should comply with previous local limits or tighter radio limits approved in
June.

Powell was also said to be trying to line up a Democrat, preferring not to
have a straight partyline split.

Lining up behind the proposed merger last Friday was The Washington Post,
which editorialized in favor of it.

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