MCLEAN, Va. – The U.S. Justice Department on Monday attached conditions to media company Gannett’s $1.5 billion purchase of Belo Corp. and its 20 TV stations, saying it has to sever ties with KMOV-TV, a CBS affiliate in St. Louis.
Gannett Co. Inc. owns KSDK-TV in St. Louis. To comply with federal station ownership rules, it had already planned to sell six Belo stations, including KMOV-TV, to Sander Media LLC for $101 million.
But the DOJ said Gannett and Sander had agreed to align advertising sales incentives in St. Louis, potentially driving up rates.
Gannett said Monday that Sander has agreed to divest KMOV-TV next year.
Gannett said the divestiture will have “very minimal” impact on its plan to reap $175 million in annual savings and other benefits within three years.