BUSINESS

FCC approves ABC7/NewsChannel 8 sale from Allbritton to Sinclair

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WASHINGTON (WJLA/POLITICO) -- Sinclair Broadcast Group won final regulatory approval late Thursday for the $985 million purchase of Allbritton Communications’ TV properties, including Washington’s WJLA-TV ABC 7, NewsChannel 8 and several stations in smaller markets across the country.

When the sale closes on Aug. 1, it ends the Allbritton family’s nearly four decades in the broadcasting business in D.C.

Allbritton Chief Executive Robert Allbritton announced the FCC sale approval in a tweet.

He then elaborated a bit in an interview with Politico: “Hey it’s great to do a deal, but it’s kind of tough to walk away. I’ve been doing this 20 years personally, and you don’t walk away from that without some thoughts."

Officials with Hunt Valley, Md.-based Sinclair could not be reached for comment.

In addition to WJLA and NewsChannel 8, Allbritton is also selling seven other TV stations to Sinclair. They include WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; WSET-TV in Lynchburg, Virginia; KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas; KTUL in Tulsa, Oklahoma; WCIV in Charleston, South Carolina; and WCFT-TV and WJSU-TV in Birmingham, Alabama.

The U,S. Justice Department had green-lighted the deal earlier this month on the condition that Sinclair spin off the Harrisburg station.

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