Sinclair’s Deal For Allbritton Closes

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $985 million deal to acquire Allbritton has, at long last, closed, according to insiders in both companies. Sinclair and Allbritton agreed to the deal July 29, 2013, but regulatory issues held up the approval process.  

The Allbritton stations included WJLA Washington, WCFT-WJSU-WBMA Birmingham-Tuscaloosa-Anniston, WHTM Harrisburg, KATV Little Rock, KTUL Tulsa, WSET Lynchburg and WCIV Charleston, while Sinclair worked out deals to sell WHTM and the non-license assets of WTAT Charleston to avoid overlap markets. The agreement also includes cable's NewsChannel 8 in Washington, while Allbritton holds onto its Politico properties.

“We are thrilled to add the Allbritton properties to our growing portfolio and national footprint,” David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair, said when the deal was announced. “To buy a full-blown news operation in our nation’s capital and an infrastructure that allows us to be connected to our branches of government and be at the pulse of national issues is a once-in-a lifetime event.”

Michael Malone

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.