E.W. Scripps Completes Acquisition of Ion Media

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The E.W. Scripps Co. said it closes its previously announced acquisition of Ion Media Networks from Diamond Capital Management LLC.

Also Read: Scripps Goes National By Buying Ion for $2.65 Billion

Ion will become part of Scripps’ new ad-supported national networks business that will also include its Katz Networks and Newsy.

Scripps said the $2.65 billion deal was financed with $800 million in terms loans, $550 million in secured notes, $500 million of unsecured notes, a $600 million investment from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and cash from Ion’s balance sheet.

Scripps said it has sold 23 of the Ion affiliated TV stations to INYO Broadcast Holdings. Scripps now owns 60 stations in 41 markets.

Black Diamond said that during the 11 years it owned Ion, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to more than $300 million from $33 million.

Also Read: Burgess Ponders What He’ll Do After Selling Ion Media

“This is a historic and transformational moment for Scripps that strengthens our leadership position in broadcasting and accelerates our multiplatform strategy to serve diverse audiences everywhere they seek to be informed and entertained,” said Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson. “Bringing our networks together with Ion will create a formidable national television business focused on connecting with audiences and advertisers in the rapidly evolving media landscape while fueling our company’s future growth.”

Read Also: E.W. Scripps Taps Katz Execs for National Networks Group

The new national networks business will be led by Lisa Knutson, president, national networks, and previously Scripps’ chief financial officer. Jonathan Katz, who headed Katz Networks, will be COO.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.