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Tegna Strikes Deal for Four Dispatch Stations

Tegna is on something of a buying binge. The broadcaster said Tuesday (June 11) that it has a definitive agreement with Dispatch Broadcast Group to buy, subject to FCC and Justice Department approval, TV stations WTHR Indianapolis (NBC), WBNS Columbus, Ohio (CBS) and WBNS AM-FM there for $535 million. 

Both TV stations are number one in their respective markets. 

Related: CBS Renews Affiliate Agreement with Tegna

The deal is a stock purchase at a multiple of 7.9 times EBITDA. If, as expected, the FCC also approves Tegna's purchase of 11 stations being spun off as part of the Nexstar purchase of Tribune, Tegna will have stations reaching 32% of the country with the 50% discount for UHF stations and 39% undiscounted, which would still be under the national cap if the UHF discount were to go away. 

Tegna has been pushing the FCC to allow broadcasters to own more stations to compete with unregulated or more lightly regulated video competitors.

"We have long admired the talented and award-winning teams at WTHR and WBNS’ television and radio stations and are honored that the Wolfe family has entrusted us to build on each station’s commitment to high-quality journalism and serving the greater good in their community,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO of Tegna, in a statement.