MARQUETTE - The Sinclair Broadcast Group of Maryland announced Thursday it will purchase the Barrington Broadcast Group, which includes stations WLUC-TV6 and Fox UP in Negaunee Township.
Sinclair said in a news release it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the broadcast assets of 18 television stations owned by Barrington -including TV-6 and Fox UP- for $370 million. Sinclair also entered into agreements to operate and provide sales services for another six Barrington stations.
The transaction is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and antitrust clearance. Sinclair officials anticipate the transaction will close and fund in the second quarter of this year, subject to closing conditions.
WLUC-TV6 president and chief executive officer Rob Jamros did not return a phone call for comment Friday before publication deadline. The sale was announced briefly on the TV-6 website Friday afternoon and was broadcast during the 6 p.m. news broadcast.
Barrington's 24 stations involved are located in 15 markets and reach 3.4 percent of U.S. television households. Other Michigan stations involved in the transaction include WEYI and WBSF in Flint/Saginaw/Bay City/Midland and WPBN, WGTU, WTOM and WGTQ in Traverse City/Cadillac.
If the acquisition is successful, Sinclair will own and operate, program and provide sales services to 112 television stations in 61 markets. The television group will reach about 29.8 percent of U.S. television households.
Among the company's television stations, there will be 27 Fox affiliated stations, 17 ABC affiliates, 15 CBS affiliates and 11 NBC affiliates.
In March 2006, WLUC-TV6 changed owners as part of a deal involving a dozen television stations. Raycom Media Inc. sold TV-6 to Barrington Broadcasting Corporation, based in Illinois, after it had been up for sale since late 2005. That multi-station deal totaled $262 million.
Raycom owned 49 stations in 22 states, along with several related holdings such as Raycom Sports and several post-production and cable advertising sales companies.
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