Reuters is reporting that Sinclair Broadcast Group has approached Tribune about a possible merger should existing ownership caps be eased.
Discussions about combining two of the country’s largest station groups are preliminary, Reuters reports. A deal would also be contingent on the FCC relaxing current regulations, which don’t allow broadcast groups to reach more than 39% of the country.
Reuters reports Tribune is already above the FCC cap, reaching 44% of U.S. households, while Sinclair is at 38%, according to Jefferies LLC analyst John Janedis.
News of the discussions comes as Tribune, which is scheduled to release its 4Q 2016 earnings Wednesday, looks for a replacement for departing CEO Peter Liguori, who has guided the company post-bankruptcy. During the last year alone, the company has sold key properties such as the media data company Gracenote and its iconic Tribune Tower.