Sinclair Broadcast Group Friday announced it has struck a deal to buy Bonten Media’s 14 stations in eight markets for $240 million—a move that comes amidst reports that the group is also nearing the purchase of Tribune Media.
The deal would give Sinclair ownership of stations in the Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va. market; Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.; Chico-Redding, Calif.; Missoula, Mont; Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas; Butte-Bozeman, Mont.; Eureka, Calif; and San Angelo, Texas. Four Cunningham Broadcasting stations operated by Bonten are included.
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The deal, which is subject to FCC approval, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017, Sinclair said. Friday’s announcement comes a day after the FCC restored the UHF discount.
"We look forward to welcoming the Bonten employees into the Sinclair family and are pleased to be growing our regional presence in several states where we already operate," said Chris Ripley, Sinclair president and CEO. "We believe our economies of scale help us bring improvements to small market stations, including investments in news, other quality local programming, and multicast opportunities with our emerging networks of Comet, Charge! and TBD."