Gannett Co. plans to buy TV station owner Belo for $1.5 billion in cash and $715 million in debt in a deal that will make it one of the nation's largest owners of network television affiliates.
The total $2.2 billion deal would hand over Belo's 20 local TV stations, nine of them in top markets, Gannett-owned USA Today reports. The Associated Press reports that it will nearly double the number of Gannett-owned stations to 43 from 23.
Gannett's President and Chief Executive Officer Gracia Martore said in a statement that the deal brings together "two highly respected media companies with rich histories of award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership."
Belo's President and CEO, Dunia Shive, commented, "This is an outstanding and financially compelling transaction for our shareholders. It is also a testament to the tremendous value our employees have created over Belo's long history and to the strength of our brand in the media industry.'"
The AP reports:
"Gannett expects the deal to boost its adjusted earnings by 50 cents per share within the first 12 months.
"The deal is expected to close by the end of 2013.
"In premarket trading, Belo Corp.'s shares jumped 26 percent. Gannett Co.'s stock rose 12 percent."