Allbritton Puts Itself On The Block

The sale of the seven-station group is one option the privately held company says it's exploring.

Allbritton Communications, owner of seven full-power ABC affiliates including WJLA Washington, said today that its considering selling the group, among other "strategic alternatives."

"There can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic alternates will result in the consummation of any transaction," the family-owned company said in a statement, noting that there is no timetable for action.

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Based in Arlington, Va., Allbritton also owns NewsChannel 8, a 24-hour, local news cable channel in Washington.

Allbritton was founded by Joe Allbritton, who died last December. His son, Robert, now runs the company as chairman. Fred Ryan, a one-time aide to President Ronald Reagan, is president.

For the review, Allbritton said, it has retained Moelis & Co. as its financial adviser and Paul Hastings and Dow Lohnes as its legal counsel.

The Allbritton group:

Brand Connections

WJLA Washington (DMA 8)

WCFT Birmingham, Ala. (DMA 42)

WHTM Harrisburg, Pa. (DMA 43)

KATV Little Rock, Ark. (DMA 56)

KTUL Tulsa, Okla. (DMA 59)

WSET Lynchburg, Va. (DMA 68)

WCIV Charleston, S.C. (DMA 98)


Comments (15) -

localtvtech Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Who wants it the most? Sinclair or Nexstar????
PhillyPhlash Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Local b'cast TV is the most efficient means of delivering digital video content to end users. Albritton is making a huge mistake and some other broadcast group stands to make big gains as a result of their shortsightedness, IMO.
DCInsider Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Brian Harris posted over 3 years ago
Raycom?? They would have to spin one of the Charleston stations but the rest would fit well into their existing station group.
SalesGrrl Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Those DMAs are too good for Sinclair or Nexstar. I'd say LIN.
FederalGuy Nickname posted over 3 years ago
anyone who knows anything about Raycom should know they'll be aggressive in this case, fits their footprint and Dr Bronner would relish having a DC station.
EddieA75 Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Raycom could take them, but there would be a HUGE conflict in Birmingham. They already own WBRC, the Fox station there. Their biggest competition in news & ratings is the Albritton owned ABC station there. Would they dump on big Bham station for another? Sinclair isn't that crazy of an option. DC is the only DMA that's higher than their MO. Sinclair has the CW & MyNet affiliates in Bham. LIN also just acquired the CBS station in Birmingham. Birmingham already has Raycom, Media General, LIN, and Sinclair. Having one of those 4 buy would cause a buy & dump to happen. Other markets may have issues too, but I'm only familiar with lol.
formergm Nickname posted over 3 years ago
How about Washington Post (Post-Newsweek)? They made a huge mistake 35 years ago selling WTOP and buying WWL - now WDIV in Detroit - and not applying for a FCC cross-ownership waiver. I highly doubt the Commission would block such a move in today's more fractionalized environment. Buying the Allbritton group would be a bold move for PNS.
SlinginSpots Nickname posted over 3 years ago
I'm with you. I'm sure PNS will make an offer.
FederalGuy Nickname posted over 3 years ago
That was a trade by Post Newsweek and Evening News of WWJ-TV and WTOP. It happened when many in the industry believed the FCC was not going to grandfather cross-ownership where it existed.
formergm Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Correction: - WTOP traded with WWJ in 1978. Many believe it was a huge mistake and that the FCC would have granted Washington Post permission to retain the TV station.
newsbot Nickname posted over 3 years ago
I suspect that if anything P-N is a seller. Their flagship paper is losing staggering amounts of money and their for-profit college operation is taking it from all sides. Selling their TV stations might buy them some time to focus on turning around the rest of their operations.
dantheflash2011 Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Maybe ABC Buys WJLA and Make ABC O&O in DC.
newsbot Nickname posted over 3 years ago
ABC would dearly love to have an O&O in the nation's capital, but the synergies for Sinclair's Baltimore cluster would be very attractive as well.
James Cieloha Nickname posted over 3 years ago
WRC, WTTG, WJLA, WUSA, WDCA, WDCW and educational WETA in Washington and WMAR, WBAL, WJZ, WUTB, WBFF, WNUV, and Maryland Public Broadcasting stations WMPB in Baltimore and WMPT in Annapolis predicted over the air signals overlap in each other TV DMA's. Walt Disney/ ABC buying WJLA would be terrific since ABC already operates a news bureau in Washington, DC and for competitive reasons for both the Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland TV DMA.. No to Scripps due to owning ABC station WMAR, no to Hearst due to owning NBC station WBAL, and a big no no for Sinclair (Sincrap) due to owning FOX station WBFF, and controlling and managing CW station WNUV under Cunningham, and NYNET station WUTB under Deerfield and all of them with CBS O&O WJZ can be reachable over the air in Washington, DC at times. I would consider WBFF moving to channel 13 as it's virtual and RF channel with WJZ moving to channel 45 as it's virtual channel and channel 46 as it's RF channel. I would be okay with Hearst getting KATV, KTUL, WSET, and WCIV, with Nexstar getting WHTM and combined the operations with WLYH, and with Sinclair getting the combined WBMA LD/WJSU/WCFT with the intent of using the the combined WBMA LD/WJSU/WCFT to program FOX on it's DT1 channel and MYNET on it's DT2 channel while WABM continues to program MYNET on it's DT 1 channel and add FOX on it's DT2 channel. Sinclair keeps the CW affiliation on WTTO and WDBB. Sinclair could transfer the license of WTTO and WDBB to Cunningham and WABM to Deerfield while Sinclair fully owns the combined WBMA LD/WJSU/WCFT combo. Raycom picks up the ABC affiliation and airs it on WBRC again since Fall of 1996.
Marketshare Blog Playout Blog




Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 27, 2016
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Source: Nielsen


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