Tegna, the company that owns more than 60 TV stations across the country and the Locked On podcast network, has entered an agreement to be sold to Standard General and Apollo Global. Per Deadline, the value of the deal is $5.4 billion or $8.6 billion when the company’s debt is assumed.
Apollo Global owns 71% of the Cox Media Group, which will absorb four of Tegna’s networks in Texas.
Following the close of the transaction, Cox will acquire Tegna stations in Austin (KVUE), Dallas (WFAA and KMPX) and Houston (KHOU and KTBU) from Standard General. Tegna owns 64 stations in 51 markets, including top-4 network affiliates in the top 25 markets. It owns multicast networks True Crime, Twist and Quest.
Tegna’s OTT advertising company Premion is expected to operate as a standalone business majority owned by Cox Media Group and Standard General.
Prior to Apollo’s investment in Cox Media, the company owned and operated several sports verticals, which were shut down in 2018. Here’s hoping the Locked On network, which Tegna purchased last year, doesn’t meet the same fate.
In a weird twist, Standard General is the largest shareholder of Bally’s, owning 38% of the casino company (last month, the company acted to take over the remaining shares). Bally’s bought the naming rights to Sinclair’s RSNs in late 2020, with the rebranding being rolled out in 2021.