Scripps/Katz Meld Gets Antitrust OK From Feds

The feds have no antitrust issues with Scripps' purchase of Katz Broadcasting Holdings and its broadcast multicast networks, Bounce, Grit, Escape and Laff.

That came in a list of deals that had gotten early termination of their Hart Scott Rodino antitrust reviews.

That means the Justice Department found no reason to file suit to block the deal or impose conditions and seek a settlement with the parties.

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The $302 million deal was announced earlier this month.

“In today’s fragmented television ecosystem, a growing number of viewers are consuming content from new over-the-air networks as a complement to over-the-top services,” Rich Boehne, chairman of Scripps, said when the deal was announced Aug. 1. “The entrepreneurs at Katz were among the first to take full advantage of this resurgence in over-the-air viewing. We were early investors in the company, and it’s a strategy and team we know well."

Scripps already owns 5% of the company.

Scripps had said it expected the deal to close by Oct. 2, and the clean bill of antitrust health helps with that timeline.

Jonathan Katz, the former Turner Broadcasting programming exec who founded the nets, will continue to head up business operations, which will remain based in Atlanta, Scripps says.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.