Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s shares are up about 1.6% in after-market trading after it announced its second major station deal this week — part of an effort to boost its presence in small markets — and a side pact to sell stations to a new firm owned by conservative commentator Armstrong Williams. The latest acquisition includes 18 stations owned by Barrington Broadcasting, with an additional agreement to either operate or provide services to six other stations. The 24 stations reach 3.4% of the country and include affiliates for all of the major networks including NBC outlets in Flint, Mich.; Toledo, Ohio; and Syracuse, NY. Sinclair says it expects the deal to close in Q2, following FCC and antitrust approval. It will take out bank loans or access capital markets to pay for the stations. On Tuesday, Sinclair agreed to pay $95M for four outlets owned by Cox Media. When combined, Sinclair expects “our expertise and resources to create approximately $29.0 million in synergistic, incremental cash flow, equating to approximately $232.0 million of added equity value or $2.85 per share,” CEO David Smith says. To help clear the way for government approval, Sinclair says it will sell its Fox stations in Syracuse and Peoria, Ill. It also will sell four stations to Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation and Howard Stirk Holdings, Williams’ new company. Smith says the pact with Williams will “advance the diversity efforts of the FCC and create a path for minority ownership in the broadcast space.”
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