Tribune has agreed to sell WNEP Scranton, along with WTKR
and WGNT Norfolk, to Dreamcatcher Broadcasting for $27 million. Dreamcatcher is
owned by Ed Wilson, who was president of Tribune Broadcasting and chief revenue
officer of Tribune Co. until 2010, and took on a consultant role thereafter.
Tribune will operate the stations under a shared services
The stations are part of Local TV LLC; Tribune has agreed to
acquire Local TV, and must officially part with the stations to comply with FCC
ownership regulations. "The newly merged company would not be allowed to
hold both the TV station licenses that are currently held by Local TV and the
local daily newspapers that are currently owned by Tribune," reads an FCC
The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
ABC affiliate WNEP commands around half the revenue in DMA
No. 54, according to BIA/Kelsey. WTKR-WGNT is a CBS-CW duopoly in DMA No. 44.
Multiple broadcast bigwigs are involved in local
TV ownership as a result of mega-mergers. Amidst Gannett's agreement to acquire
Belo, former Belo vice chairman Jack
Sander will own a handful of stations in markets where the two groups both
own stations, while former Fisher chief Ben
Tucker will play a similar role in Tucson. Gannett plans to provide
services to the stations that it cannot technically own.