The Tribune Co. agreed Monday to buy 19 television stations for about $2.7 billion, making it one of the nation’s biggest owners of commercial local TV outlets amid a groundswell of consolidation in the industry.
The stations are in 16 regions, including Denver, Cleveland and St. Louis, and many of their local news broadcasts are ranked first or second in their markets. They will complement Tribune’s 23 existing stations and its WGN America cable channel. Tribune is buying the stations from Local TV Holdings, a company owned by the investment firm Oak Hill Capital Partners.
The deal comes less than a month after the Gannett Co. agreed to buy the Belo Corp. for about $1.5 billion, nearly doubling its local television holdings. In that transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year, Gannett will pick up 20 television stations owned by Belo.