Sinclair Settles Tribune Lawsuit, Will Pay Nexstar $60 Million

Sinclair Broadcast Group 2004 - Getty - H 2017
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Sinclair Broadcast Group has settled the lawsuit stemming from its failed $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media.

The merger was scuttled after the FCC referred it to an administrative law judge, making it untenable. Tribune responded by terminating the deal and filing suit against Sinclair in August 2018, alleging breach of contract.

Sinclair filed a countersuit later that month, arguing that Tribune "breached its obligations under the Merger Agreement to exercise its own reasonable best efforts to close the Transaction."

Tribune ultimately sold itself to Nexstar Media Group last year, setting the stage for Monday’s settlement.

Under the terms of the settlement, Sinclair will pay Nexstar $60 million and will transfer control of WDKY-TV in the Lexington, Kentucky, market. Sinclair and Nexstar also “modified an existing agreement regarding carriage of certain of the Company’s digital networks by stations acquired by Nexstar in connection with the Tribune acquisition,” per the agreement. Sinclair says the company reserved for the settlement in 2019.

Neither party has admitted any liability or wrongdoing in connection with the terminated merger. “Both parties have settled the lawsuit to avoid the costs, distraction, and uncertainties of continued litigation,” Sinclair said in a regulatory filing.