The Federal Communications Commission approved Gannett Co.’s purchase of Belo Corp. (BLC), giving final U.S. regulatory clearance for the $1.5 billion media deal.
Gannett, which owns 23 TV stations, agreed in June to purchase Dallas-based Belo including its 20 stations.
The deal would make Gannett the fourth-largest owner of major network affiliates, reaching about one-third of U.S. households, according to the company.
The FCC’s approval came in an order released today by e-mail. An earlier Justice Department settlement requires the companies to sell KMOV-TV in St. Louis to preserve competition in a market where Gannett and Belo overlap.
Adding TV stations gives Gannett leverage in negotiating licensing fees for cable and satellite companies to use its signals.
The Belo deal continues a streak of consolidation in the local-TV market and underscores a push by newspaper companies to decrease their reliance on print media. The FCC today separately approved Tribune Co.’s agreement to buy Local TV Holdings LLC’s 19 stations for $2.73 billion.
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