FCC Approves Nexstar Purchase of Tribune TV Stations

LOS ANGELES JULY 23, 2018: The American flag and California flag surround the iconic, 160-foot tall KTLA 5 radio tower on Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Bronson Studios lot, first erected in 1925. (Credit: Shutterstock)

The Federal Communications Commission on Monday approved the sale of Tribune’s local TV stations to Nexstar Media Group.

“The Commission found that the proposed merger would provide several public interest benefits to viewers of current Tribune and Nexstar stations,” the FCC said in a statement. “For example, viewers would benefit from their local stations having increased access to Nexstar’s Washington, DC, news bureau and state news bureaus.”

To comply with TV ownership rules, Texas-based Nexstar will sell 21 of its local TV stations. Those sales were also approved.

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The $6.4 billion deal creates the nation’s largest local TV broadcaster and local media company, Nexstar previously said.

Tribune owns stations across the country, including WPIX in New York, KTLA in Los Angeles, WGN in Chicago, KDAF in Dallas, and KCPQ in Seattle. Nexstar said Monday that it expects to close the deal “shortly.”

Sinclair previously tried to buy the Tribune stations, but the deal fell apart last year.