Sinclair is now scheduled to close on its $985 million acquisition of
Allbritton in 2014, the time frame pushed back following a "Second
Request for information", according to Sinclair and Allbritton, from the
Department of Justice. The Second Request is, as the name suggests, a
request for additional information from DOJ; Sinclair says the query
concerns Allbritton stations in Harrisburg, PA and Charleston, SC.
It now expects the deal to close in the first or second quarter of 2014.
In addition to antitrust clearance, the transaction is subject to FCC approval.
July, Sinclair agreed to buy the group, including WJLA Washington. The
cable news network NewsChannel 8 is part of the Allbritton deal as well.
A second request is not unusual, but it does suggest DOJ
is looking carefully at the deal. The FCC has stopped its informal
180-day clock on reviewing that and other station deals and will not
restart it until the government shutdown ends.