Sinclair to purchase WJLA, NewsChannel 8, other Allbritton stations

The Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns more than 140 television stations across the country, has entered into an agreement with Allbritton Communications to purchase WJLA, NewsChannel 8 and several other ABC affiliates scattered across the south and East Coast.

The sale was announced jointly Monday morning by Allbritton CEO Robert Allbritton and Sinclair Executive Vice President and CEO David Smith.

"Sinclair is the ideal buyer of our superb television stations," Allbritton said in a statement. "Its existing reach and history of innovation matches exceptionally well with our long tradition of viewer service and news gathering excellence."

The sale price for the entire station group is $985 million. In addition to ABC7 and NewsChannel 8, Sinclair will acquire:

  • WCFT/WJSU/WBMA in Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston, Ala.
  • WHTM in Harrisburg, Pa.
  • KATV in Little Rock, Ark.
  • KTUL in Tulsa, Okla.
  • WSET in Lynchbrug, Va.
  • WCIV in Charleston, S.C.

To comply with FCC regulations regarding television ownership rules in single markets, Sinclair plans to sell the licenses to stations they already own in Birmingham, Harrisburg and Charleston.

"To buy a full-blown news operation in our nation s capital and an infrastructure that allows us to be connected to our branches of government and be at the pulse of national issues is a once-in-a lifetime event," Smith said in a statement.