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KGW TV gets new owner in Belo-Gannett $1.5 billion deal

Portland’s KGW TV has a new owner after Gannett Co. spent $1.5 billion to buy Belo Corp. of Dallas, the television station’s parent company.

The deal was announced Thursday by both Belo Corp. and Gannett Co. Media giant Gannett would acquire all of Belo’s outstanding stock shares for $13.75 each, and assume about $715 million in debt, bringing the total purchase to about $2.2 billion.

Boards of both companies have unanimously approved the sale. It still must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission and two-thirds of Belo stockholders. The deal could close by the end of the year.

The acquisition creates a broadcast “super group,” catapulting Gannett into the nation’s fourth-largest owner of network affiliates reaching nearly a third of all U.S. households. It also nearly doubles Gannett’s broadcast portfolio from 23 to 43 stations.

In addition to KGW TV in Portland, Belo Corp. also owned television stations in Seattle, Boise and Spokane.

“I am confident that we have found an excellent partner in Gannett,” said Dunia A. Shive, Belo’s president and chief executive officer. “Together, this portfolio of media assets will be well-positioned to capitalize on substantial growth opportunities in the years ahead.”

“We have been successfully transforming Gannett into a diversified multi-media company with broadcast, digital and publishing components across high-growth markets nationwide, and this is another important step in the process,” said Gracia Martore, Gannett president and chief executive officer.

Gannett Co. publishes 82 daily newspapers across the country, including the Statesman Journal in Salem, and USA Today.