There is a new giant in the U.S. TV station business.
Newspaper and broadcast media owner Tribune Co. will purchase 19 TV stations owned by Local TV Holdings in a deal worth $2.73 billion. Tribune beat out other bidders, including Meredith (MDP) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI), to acquire the stations, the Wall Street Journal notes.
By adding the 19 TV stations, Tribune almost doubles the number of U.S. stations it owns to 42, making it the largest owner of commercial TV stations in the country. That status will increase its leverage in advertising and distribution negotiations.
The company expects the deal to close by the end of 2013. Tribune emerged from a bankruptcy protection just last year. It has received financing from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC), among others.
Reports emerged last year that Tribune is looking to sell some of its largest newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.