Signaling continued confidence that the company’s sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group will be approved by regulators, Tribune Media Co. said its chairman, Bruce Karsh, stepped down from the board on Oct. 26 and will not be replaced.
“Given the overwhelmingly successful shareholder vote and the continued progress being made
toward the company’s merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group, now is the right time for me to step
down from the board,” said Karsh. “I’d like to thank Tribune’s management team and employees, as
well as my fellow Board members for all their work on the company’s behalf.”
The company said it will neither replace Karsh as chairman nor appoint a new director in his place.
“Bruce has been a tremendous Chairman and champion of Tribune since its emergence from
bankruptcy,” said Peter Kern, Tribune Media’s Chief Executive Officer. “His steady leadership and
focus on shareholder returns has created value for all of our stakeholders and as we focus on the
completion of our proposed merger with Sinclair, we thank Bruce for all his efforts and hard
work. The company and its shareholders have benefited greatly from his guidance.”
Under Karsh and former CEO Peter Liguori, Tribune divided its broadcast and print assets (the latter of which spun off into the rebranded company Tronc) and bulked up its station portfolio. The pending deal with Sinclair will give the No. 1 station owner presence for the first time in top markets like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The rightward tilt of many Sinclair execs, symbolized by “must-run” on-air commentaries by former Trump Administration official Boris Epshtyn, have created anxiety in some corners of media and culture about the easing of media consolidation limits.
The FCC will consider several rule changes at its Nov. 16 open meeting, all designed to make mergers like Sinclair’s face fewer hurdles on the way to completion.