Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB) today announced that it has completed the sale of WATL-TV (channel 36), Atlanta, to Gannett Co., Inc., for $180 million in cash. Tribune acquired a minority stake in WATL in 1995 and obtained full ownership of the station in 2000 as part of its acquisition of Qwest Broadcasting.
The sale of WATL is part of Tribune’s performance improvement plan announced May 30. The plan includes at least $500 million in asset sales and approximately $300 million has been identified so far. In addition to WATL, Tribune last month 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, Albany, for $17 million. Bids are now being received for the San Fernando property where a Los Angeles Times printing facility was closed earlier this year.