The Federal Communications Commission has approved the Nexstar-Tribune deal — valued at $6.4 billion, including debt.
The FCC also gave the go-ahead to its TV station divestiture plan related to the deal in order to meet federal regulatory TV station ownership limits.
In July, the U.S Justice Department approved the sales. Those sales — totaling 21 local TV stations– are to be bought through deals from TV station group Tegna Inc., The E.W. Scripps Co, and Circle City Broadcasting.
Tribune Media owns or operates 42 local TV stations, reaching approximately 50 million households.
Nexstar also said its station affiliation deal with the Fox network will be a multi-year agreement for Nexstar stations in 31 markets reaching approximately 8% of U.S. TV homes. The deal also covers the eight Fox affiliates Nexstar has now acquired from Tribune Media.
Before the approval of the Tribune Media deal, Nexstar owned, operated, programmed or provided sales and other services to 174 full-power television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 100 markets or nearly 39% of all U.S. TV households.
Following its pending acquisition of Tribune, Nexstar will own, operate, program or provide services to Fox affiliates in 39 markets — the largest TV station operator of Fox-affiliated stations, covering 16% of the U.S. and more than 17.5 million households.
Nexstar also has station affiliations with NBC, CBS, ABC, MyNetworkTV and The CW.
For the year ending 2018, Nexstar pulled in $2.8 billion in revenue — up 14% from the year before. Total advertising revenue was up 18% to $1.3 billion — due to a sharp rise in political advertising. Retransmission revenue grew 13% to $1.1 billion, and digital revenue was 15% higher to $261.2 million.
In mid-Monday trading, Nexstar stock was up 3% to $105.23.