Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) is buying Perpetual Corp. and Charleston Television LLC for $985 million.
The deal includes seven ABC Network affiliates and NewsChannel 8, a 24-hour cable or satellite news network covering the Washington D.C. area. Arlington, Va.-based Allbritton Communications Co. is selling the stations.
In connection with the deal, Sinclair expects to sell the licenses and related assets of the company’s television stations in Birmingham, Ala., Harrisburg, Pa., and Charleston, S.C.
After the deal, Baltimore-based Sinclair will operate, program or provide sales services to 149 television stations in 76 markets.
The deal requires regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission and is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Allbritton put the stations up for sale in May as a means of raising proceeds that would be used to expand Politico, a political news service that shares office space with the two channels based in Rosslyn, Va.
Allbritton, a family-run communications company known mostly for owning local TV stations, launched Politico in 2007 as part of a cultural shift into focused news coverage. The company’s chairman, Robert Allbritton, has stated that he will use proceeds to invest in or launch other media companies.
Paul Hastings LLP was Allbritton’s legal counsel for the transaction.
The transaction follows several other television station deals. In July, Tribune Co. agreed to pay $2.7 billion for 19 local television stations in 16 markets. In June, Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) agreed to pick up Belo Corp., which owns and operates 20 television stations, for $1.5 billion. In April, Sinclair agreed to merge with Fisher Communications Inc. in a deal that gave Sinclair an additional 20 stations.