Station giants Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nexstar Media said Monday they’ve agreed to settle an outstanding lawsuit in a deal that has Sinclair paying out $60 million and transferring ownership of a station in Kentucky.
The suit was initially a tiff between Sinclair and Tribune Media, one-time merger partners. The $3.9 billion deal fell apart under intense FCC scrutiny. Tribune terminated it and sued Sinclair for breach of contract. Sinclair countersued.
Nexstar ended up acquiring Tribune in September 2019, becoming the biggest owner of broadcast stations in the country.
The lawsuit had been pending in the Delaware Chancery Court.
In the settlement, revealed in an SEC filing, the companies released each other from “any current and future claims relating to the terminated merger.” Neither party admitted liability or wrongdoing and said they settled “to avoid the costs, distraction and uncertainties of continued litigation.”
As part of the resolution, Sinclair agreed to transfer control to Nexstar of WDKY-TV in the Lexington, KY market subject to FCC approval. Sinclair and Nexstar have also modified an existing agreement regarding carriage of Sinclair digital networks by stations acquired by Nexstar in the Tribune deal.
Sinclair said it has adequate reserves to pay the $60 million to Nexstar.