NewsChannel 4, Freedom 43 TV officially have new owners; Tribune Co.

Posted on: 1:22 pm, December 20, 2013, by and , updated on: 12:14pm, December 30, 2013

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Oklahoma’s NewsChannel 4 and Freedom 43 TV have officially been sold to Tribune Co. along with 17 other television stations.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Communications Commission has approved Tribune Co.’s $2.73 billion agreement to buy local TV stations from Local TV Holdings LLC Friday.

That agreement is set to make Chicago-based Tribune the largest commercial TV station owner in the country, the Wall Street Journal reported.

What does that mean for you, the viewer? We will continue to bring you the best news, weather and sports coverage you have trusted us to report since we signed on June 6, 1949 as WKY-TV.

“We are elated that KFOR News Channel 4 and KAUT Freedom 43 TV will join the powerhouse Tribune Company,” Wes Milbourn said, President and General Manager of KFOR and KAUT. “Our legacy of broadcast excellence and commitment to providing the best news and weather coverage in Oklahoma will continue under Tribune Company ownership.”

Local TV LLC sold their 19 TV stations, including News Channel 4 and Freedom 43 TV, in 16 markets for $2.73 billion.

Tribune will go from 23 stations to 42 after the sale making it the largest TV station group in the country.

The stations in other markets include Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City and Salt Lake City.

The Tribune will now have:

- 14 CW affiliates
- 14 FOX affiliates
- 5 CBS affiliates
- 3 ABC affiliates
- 2 NBC affiliates (News Channel 4 and WHO-TV in Des Moines)

“This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune. It makes us the No. 1 local TV affiliate group in America, expands the distribution platform for our high-quality video content, and extends the reach of our digital products to new audiences across the country,” Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited about Tribune’s future as America’s leader in creating and distributing original content and local news programming.”

According to the Chicago Tribunetribune Co. will own 14 stations in the top 20 markets and become the largest Fox affiliate group in the U.S.

“Local TV and Tribune have had a long, successful relationship over the last five years,” Bobby Lawrence, CEO of Local TV, said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “Our cultures and operating philosophies are very similar and we share a strong commitment to news and local programming excellence. My management team will dearly miss working with some of the most talented and dedicated people in broadcasting, but we know we leave our employees in good hands.”