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Tribune Co. Acquires KTVI In Massive Merger

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Just weeks after Belo Corp., owner of St. Louis’s KMOV, was acquired by Gannett Broadcasting, another St. Louis TV station has changed hands.

Local TV LLC, owner of KTVI and operator of KPLR, has been purchased by Tribune Co., the company announced Monday.

Local TV LLC owned 19 stations nationwide and was sold for $2.725 billion. With 42 properties in the U.S., Tribune becomes the largest commercial television station owner.

“This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune. It makes us the No. 1 local TV affiliate group in America, expands the distribution platform for our high-quality video content, and extends the reach of our digital products to new audiences across the country,” Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement.  “We couldn’t be more excited about Tribune’s future as America’s leader in creating and distributing original content and local news programming.”

Tribune Co. already owned KPLR in St. Louis but the station was operated by Local TV.

“Local TV and Tribune have had a long, successful relationship over the last five years,” Bobby Lawrence, CEO of Local TV, said in a statement. “Our cultures and operating philosophies are very similar, and we share a strong commitment to news and local programming excellence.  My management team will dearly miss working with some of the most talented and dedicated people in broadcasting, but we know we leave our employees in good hands.”

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