Tribune Media

The local TV consolidation race is here

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Changes in decades-old broadcasting rules, combined with new types of competition in news and entertainment, are creating a drama-filled free-for-all as local U.S. broadcasters consolidate.

Why it matters: Consolidation will inevitably mean that fewer voices reach more people, but some in the industry argue it's the only way local broadcasting will be able to compete with big tech.

Tribune Media breaks off $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair

Sinclair headquarters
The headquarters of the Sinclair Broadcast Group is shown April 3, 2018 in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

Tribune Media announced Thursday that it has terminated its $3.9 billion merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting and that it has filed a lawsuit for breach of contract.

Why it matters: The merger would’ve created the largest local broadcaster in America. Now, Tribune will likely sell its stations to another local broadcaster, and conservative-leaning Sinclair will likely pursue other deals to acquire more local stations, as its CEO Christopher Ripley suggested during an earnings call Wednesday.