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FCC OKs ION Media Networks Buyout

The Federal Communications Commission approved Citadel Investment Group’s buyout of ION Media Networks earlier this week, saying that the transaction will “serve the public interest.”

The commission’s approval was a blow to a group of investors that filed a complaint regarding NBC Universal’s involvement in the transaction.

NBCU transferred its stake in ION to Citadel in May. NBCU is prohibited from exercising control over ION due to ownership regulations, but it will retain a minority interest.

The private-equity firm pledged to invest $100 million in the 60-station group.

ION airs vintage programming such as Alice, Who’s the Boss? and the recently acquired Drew Carey Show.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.