Business | News

KATU Owner Fisher Communications Sold For $373 Million

OPB | April 11, 2013 1:11 p.m. | Updated: April 12, 2013 10:50 a.m. | Portland

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One of the largest American telecommunications companies has struck a deal to acquire the Northwest firm Fisher Communications. The Sinclair Broadcast Group announced the $373 million purchase Thursday.

Seattle-based Fisher Communications includes the broadcasters KOMO in Seattle, KATU in Portland, and KVAL in Eugene, among others.

Sinclair has been on a buying spree for the last few years. Now it’s expanding its coverage in the key western markets of Seattle and Portland.

Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute says this type of deal usually doesn’t have negative repercussions for broadcasters.

“The good news is that these stations are costing a lot of money to buy, and they’re not fire sales. And when they cost that much to purchase, Sinclair’s not going to walk in and ruin things because Wall Street will decimate them. So the one thing they can’t do is go in and screw things up.“

Both companies’ stocks shot up after the announcement. If the FCC approves the deal, Sinclair will eventually reach over a third of U.S. household televisions.

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