While rumors continue to swirl about Sinclair’s bid to acquire Tribune Media, the broadcast group is moving ahead with buying Bonten Media’s stations.
Sinclair is paying $240 million for Bonten’s 14 stations in eight markets. The stations reach about 1% of U.S. households and only two are in top-100 DMAs, according to TVNewsCheck.
The stations included in the deal are:
- WCYB (NBC) and WEMT (Fox) in Tennessee-Virginia
- WCTI (ABC) and WYDO (Fox) in North Carolina
- KCVU (Fox), KRCR (ABC), KRVU (MNT), KUCO (UNI), KAEF (ABC), KBVU (Fox), KECA (CW) and KEUV (UNI) in California
- KECI (NBC), KCFW (NBC) and KTVM (NBC) in Montana
- KTXS (ABC), KTES (METV) and KTXE (ABC) in Texas
"We look forward to welcoming the Bonten employees into the Sinclair family and are pleased to be growing our regional presence in several states where we already operate," said Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley in a statement. "We believe our economies of scale help us bring improvements to small market stations, including investments in news, other quality local programming, and multicast opportunities with our emerging networks of Comet, Charge! and TBD."
Sinclair’s bid to snap up Bonten arrives as a deal for Tribune Media could be nearing completion. Recent reports have suggested that Sinclair could announce a deal to buy Tribune on or before May 8 for high-$30s per share.
That deal could be easier to push through now that the FCC has officially voted to reinstate the UHF discount that was eliminated last year.
The move could potentially kick off a wave of broadcast TV consolidation. In addition to Sinclair’s reported bid for Tribune Media’s 42 TV stations, large broadcast powers like Nexstar Media and CBS have both expressed interest in expanding their broadcast TV footprints should the FCC revert back to the old ownership rules.