Rupert Murdoch

Sinclair Broadcasts's $3.9 billion Tribune deal appeared on track before sudden derailment

Sinclair Broadcasts's $3.9 billion Tribune deal appeared on track before sudden derailment

Sinclair Broadcast Group looked close to sealing its drawn-out, controversial deal to acquire rival broadcaster Tribune Media when an apparent derailment of the mega-merger came from an unlikely player — the seemingly friendly head of the Federal Communications Commission.

Despite taking longer than expected under a pro-business FCC, one that had been loosening what broadcasters view as antiquated TV ownership rules, the $3.9 billion deal was on track to close soon after July 12, Sinclair executives told shareholders at an annual meeting last month.

Shareholders applauded the deal’s expected boost to the company’s value and stock, while outside the Hunt Valley headquarters...

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