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Sinclair To Sell 3 Local TV Stations

April 24, 2018

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. will sell three local TV stations as part of its purchase of another national media company with area ties.

Sinclair will sell 23 stations across 15 states, including Fox 56 WOLF-TV, The CW-affliated WSWB and MyNetworkTV-affiliated WQMY, as part of the company’s acquisition of Tribune Media Co., owner of WNEP-TV.

Standard Media Group LLC, an affiliate of New York City-based investment firm Standard General LP, will acquire the three local stations plus six others, according to a Sinclair news release. Standard General will pay $441.7 million for the nine stations, said Standard General partner David Glazek.

At the time Sinclair announced the Tribune acquisition in May 2017, company officials said it may sell certain stations in markets where it currently owns stations to comply with FCC ownership requirements, which states a company can’t own two big network stations in one market, and antitrust regulations. Sinclair made the sales announcement Tuesday in part to obtain government approval for the Tribune, according to the release. The purchases will go into effect concurrent to the closure of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune. Sinclair anticipates that will happen near the end of the second quarter, pending FCC approval and antitrust clearance.

Standard Media Group LLC plans to keep the existing personnel at the three local stations when they assume control, Glazek said. The purchase marks a return to the media realm for Standard General, which previously owned a media company called Media General. Nexstar Broadcasting Group bought that company early last year.

“We’re getting back in the business and we view these nine stations as the beginning of a new broadcast platform,” Glazek said. “We’re very excited about it.”

Jon Cadman, general manager of the Wilkes-Barre-based Sinclair holdings, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.