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Sinclair close to Tribune Media deal

Sinclair close to Tribune Media deal
Posted at 1:04 PM, May 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-07 16:04:59-04

Sinclair Broadcasting is on the verge of a deal to acquire Tribune Media, creating a local television behemoth, sources said Sunday.

Another one of the companies involved in the Tribune auction, 21st Century Fox, has decided not to move forward with a bid, according to a source involved in the process.

Another source close to the negotiations said the auction process is "still fluid," but is expected to conclude very soon.

Reuters reported Sunday afternoon that Sinclair has prevailed in the auction. The news wire, also citing sources, said "Sinclair's offer values Tribune Media at around $44 per share."

Bloomberg said Sinclair "would pay about $45."

Tribune shares closed at $40.29 on Friday.

Both Sinclair and Tribune already operate dozens of local TV stations across the country. Together, they'll have even more muscle in negotiations with cable, satellite and digital distributors.

There has also been speculation that Sinclair, with the addition of Tribune's portfolio, could try to launch a rival to Fox News, though the company has not commented on the possibility.

Sinclair, Fox and Tribune declined comment Sunday afternoon.