A look at sales and mergers in the media industry
CBS Local Media purchased Eventful Inc., a San Diego-based digital media company providing demand-based platforms for live, digital and broadcast events. According to Billboard.com, the company’s staff of 55 will be merged with the CBS Local Media team. Ezra Kucharz, president of CBS Local Digital Media, told Billboard that the company was looking to “enhance” the strategy for CBS’ local events coverage.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is set to acquire stations from Albritton TV for a total of $985 billion. This includes seven ABC network affiliates as well as NewsChannel 8 in Washington, D.C. Sinclair had to amend its original Albritton deal in order to get the FCC to approve it. In order to acquire the Albritton stations, Sinclair will sell stations in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Media General. Sinclair will also relinquish licenses for stations located in Birmingham and Charleston, South Carolina, and give up a sharing agreement in Charleston. USAToday.com reported that when the deals are complete, Sinclair will own and operate 149 stations in the U.S.
Last month, E.W. Scripps Co. purchased WMYD-TV in Detroit and WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York. According to BizJournals.com, the company paid $110 million to Granite Broadcasting Corp. for the stations. As a result, Scripps now has 21 stations that reach 14 percent of all U.S. households.
Despite Tribune’s decision to focus on broadcast more heavily by splitting its publishing arm from broadcast, which is slated to happen on Aug. 4, the company is apparently looking to acquire more papers. This is after two years of rumors that the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times were to eventually be sold. According to AdAge.com, CEO Jack Griffin is looking to buy smaller papers in or near existing major markets where the company already owns larger papers.
At Fox, Rupert Murdoch made an $80 billion bid for Time Warner Inc., later adding an offer granting Time Warner shareholders representation on the board of 21st Century Fox. Time Warner rejected both offers. Meanwhile, Univision Communications is taking time to decide on a deal, and has been in sales talks with companies including CBS and Time Warner over the last few months.
No doubt, many of these sales and mergers will play out as the year rolls forward, continuing to alter the face of the media industry and who the newest thought leaders will be.
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