In a filing this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Sinclair disclosed plans for generous severance payments to top Tribune executives upon their exit from the company once the proposed merger is completed.
Chandler Bigelow, Tribune EVP and chief financial officer, would receive $9.2 million; EVP and general counsel Edward Lazarus would take in $9.7 million; Larry Wert, president of broadcast media, would receive $7.8 million; former CEO Peter Liguori would pull in $1.7 million; and interim CEO Peter Kern would pocket $207,774.
If the deal closes, as is looking likely, Sinclair would own, operate or serve 233 television stations in 108 markets, making it by far, the biggest independent owner of Fox affiliates.
The FCC is considering changes in ownership rules that could clear the way to create a TV station colossus.
Tribune has 42 stations in 33 markets including 14 Fox affiliates, 12 with CW, six with CBS, three with ABC and two NBC. It also owns cable’s WGN America, digital multicast network Antenna TV and minority stakes in the TV Food Network and CareerBuilder.