Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB) today announced the sale of WLVI-TV (channel 56), Boston, to Sunbeam Television Corp. for $113.7 million. The transaction is contingent upon approval by Tribune’s board of directors and would close upon regulatory approval.
“This sale reflects our continued focus on surfacing value for Tribune shareholders,” said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune chairman and chief executive officer.
The sale of WLVI is part of Tribune’s performance improvement plan announced May 30. The plan includes at least $500 million in asset sales and approximately $420 million have been identified so far. On Aug. 7, Tribune completed the sale of WATL-TV in Atlanta for $180 million in cash. In July, Tribune sold 2.8 million shares of Time Warner common stock for net proceeds of approximately $46 million. In June, the company announced the sale of WCWN-TV in Albany for $17 million. Bids are now being reviewed for the San Fernando property where a Los Angeles Times printing facility was closed earlier this year.
Tribune acquired WLVI in 1994 from Gannett Co., Inc., for approximately $25 million. The station will be Sunbeam’s second in the Boston market, where it currently owns and operates WHDH-TV, the local NBC affiliate.
“As an affiliate of the new CW Network, WLVI has a great future,” said John Reardon, Tribune Broadcasting president. “With the first and longest running prime-time news serving Boston viewers, the station’s excellence has been widely recognized locally and throughout the New England broadcasting community. Vinnie Manzi and the entire team at WLVI have built a strong station and we appreciate their accomplishments and dedication.”