Belo, owner of Boise's KTVB-TV, sold to Gannett

Statesman staffJune 13, 2013 

The company that owns Boise's KTVB-TV (Channel 7) is being sold.

Belo Corp., of Dallas, is being sold to Gannett Co. Inc., which formerly owned the Idaho Statesman.

Gannett will acquire Belo for $1.5 billion in cash and will assume $715 million Belo's debt, bringing the value of the purchase to $2.2 billion, the companies said Thursday. The per-share price of $13.75 is 28 percent higher than Belo's closing price Wednesday.

The companies said the purchase would create a broadcast “Super Group,” catapulting Gannett into the nation’s fourth-largest owner of major network affiliates reaching nearly a third of all U.S. households. The acquisition nearly doubles Gannett’s broadcast portfolio to 43 stations from 23 and will expand Gannett's No. 1 position among NBC affiliates. KTVB is an NBC affiliate.

“We have been successfully transforming Gannett into a diversified multimedia 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's president and CEO.

Dunia A. Shive, Belo’s president and CEO, said the sale is a good deal for shareholders.

"I am confident that we have found an excellent partner in Gannett," Shive said. "They are a leading media company that shares our commitment to the highest levels of journalistic integrity and embraces an active approach to community involvement."

Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper chain and the publisher of USA Today, acquired the Statesman when it purchased Federated Publications in 1971 and kept it until 2005, when it sold the Statesman and two newspapers in Washington state to the Knight Ridder chain. Knight Ridder was purchased by McClatchy Co., the Statesman's current owner, in 2006.

A message seeking comment from Doug Armstrong, KTVB's general manager, was not immediately returned.

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