Final agreement reached in sale of WMAR-TV


Scripps Howard Broadcasting Co. said yesterday that it has completed an agreement to purchase WMAR-TV (Channel 2) from Gillett Broadcasting and settle a related lawsuit.

Scripps Howard said in a statement that the agreement to purchase WMAR at the previously agreed reduced price of $125 million was contingent on the satisfaction of "certain conditions of closing" related to bankruptcy petitions filed in February by creditors of Gillett's parent company, Gillett Holdings Inc.

Rich Boehne, director of corporate communications for Scripps Howard, declined yesterday to specify what those conditions were.

But Gary Holmes, a Gillett spokesman, said that the "only outstanding condition is that the [bankruptcy] court go along with this decision. The acquisition must be approved by the court."

Mr. Holmes said that attorneys for Gillett would submit a motion this week to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver, where the involuntary Chapter 11 proceedings against Gillett Holdings were filed. Gillett hoped to have a hearing date by the end of this month and expected to close the deal in late May, he said.

Scripps Howard had agreed to buy WMAR from Gillett last summer for $154.7 million. However, it terminated that agreement in February, and Gillett responded by filing a breach-of-contract suit. Two weeks ago, the companies said they had settled on a new $125 million figure.

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