Gannett has agreed to sell KMOV St. Louis to Meredith, the company announced Monday, a requirement in its deal to purchase Belo.
The sale, upon government approval, will satisfy Gannett's and Sander Media's obligations under the previously announced proposed consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with Gannett's acquisition of Belo.
As part of the sale, Sander Media will convey to Meredith substantially all of the assets used in the operation of KMOV-TV, which Sander Media will acquire upon close of the Gannett-Belo transaction. In addition, Gannett will convey certain other assets that are needed to provide services to KMOV.
Additionally, under a separate agreement, KTVK and KASW in Phoenix will be sold to Meredith as well. At the closing, Meredith will simultaneously convey KASW to SagamoreHill of Phoenix, which, through its affiliates, owns and operates two television stations in two markets. The agreed upon purchase price for the three stations is $407.5 million in cash, contingent upon regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
"We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Meredith. Meredith is a highly respected multi-media company which shares our commitment to outstanding local journalism, and we are confident that these stations will be in good hands," said Gracia Martore, president and CEO of Gannett. "We are also pleased to have reached an agreement with attractive terms for our shareholders, as these sales will significantly lower the effective purchase price for Belo while reducing only minimally the expected synergies associated with the Belo transaction, which we expect to close promptly."
It was essentially a pro forma move, but the Department of Justice Monday officially terminated its antitrust review of the Gannett/Belo TV station group merger.
DOJ had already said it was okay with the deal so long as Gannett/Belo spun off KMOV to a third party.