8 News Corp. TV stations sold


UPDATED 3:11 p.m. PT Dec. 23, 2007

News Corp. has agreed to sell eight owned-and-operated Fox network-affiliated TV stations for $1.1 billion to investment firm Oak Hill Capital Partners.

The purchase, announced Saturday, expands Oak Hill's presence in the television industry, adding to the nine stations it already owns through Local TV, the platform it created this year when it acquired those outlets from the New York Times Co.

According to the Wall Street Journal, day-to-day administration of the stations could end up with Tribune Co., the newspaper and broadcast concern now run by investor Sam Zell, as a result of a deal struck last week earlier this week between Local TV and Tribune.

Local TV was headed until this week by veteran radio executive Randy Michaels, who was appointed Thursday to a senior post with Tribune. In the wake of move, Tribune and Local TV announced that Tribune would take over "back-office services, administration and a number of other functions" for the stations owned by both companies. Tribune owns 23 stations.

The News Corp. stations being sold are in Denver, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Birmingham, Ala., Kansas City, Mo., Greensboro, N.C., Milwaukee and Cleveland.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals and is expected to close in third-quarter 2008.