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KFMB-TV, Radio Sold To National Broadcast Company Tegna

Family owned for more than a half century, KFMB-TV and its co-owned San Diego radio stations are being sold to national broadcast company Tegna for $325 million, the McLean, Virginia-based purchaser announced Tuesday.

Tegna used to be part of Gannett, but was spun off as the owner of the media firm's broadcasting operations in 2015. Tegna owns 46 TV stations throughout the nation, making it one of the largest owners of broadcast properties. The name Gannett remained with the firm that ended up owning print publications, including USA Today.

Tegna is acquiring KFMB-TV, the longtime affiliate of the CBS network broadcasting on Channel 8. The station also just started an affiliation with The CW network on a digital channel and cable. The sale also includes rock station KFMB-FM and talk station KFMB-AM, all from family-owned Midwest Television, pending regulatory approval by the Federal Communications Commission.


Tegna praised KFMB-TV's "dedicated colleagues" who have made the station a ratings success.

The San Diego TV market is the country's 29th largest, with 1.1 million households. It is the 17th largest radio market.

"This transaction is a testament to the outstanding value our employees have created serving the San Diego community," Midwest owner Elisabeth Kimmel said. "Having owned these properties for over 55 years, our family believed it imperative to find an excellent steward for television and radio stations that the community has embraced as part of the fabric of San Diego."

Tegna's 46 TV stations are in 38 markets. Its stations reach about one-third of all television households nationwide, according to the company.

"We have long admired our dedicated colleagues in San Diego and look forward to continuing the stations' high-quality journalism, editorial independence and commitment to their local community," said Dave Lougee, Tegna's president and chief executive.


The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.