Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. announced Tuesday that, in addition to completing its $2 billion acquisition of LIN Television Corp., it has an agreement to acquire WOOD-TV and WOOD’s Local Marketing Agreement for WOTV, both in Grand Rapids, Mich., for $125 million. The seller, AT&T Corp., previously owned 45% of LIN.
Although Hicks Muse will operate LIN as a private entity, the station group will retain its name, its management team (led by CEO Gary Chapman), and its Providence, R.I., headquarters. Dallas-based Hicks Muse CEO Thomas O. Hicks reiterated plans for LIN to join Sunrise Television as platforms for achieving the investment firm’s goal of “building the premier independent television broadcaster.”
When LIN’s shares stopped trading on the Nasdaq Tuesday, the group consisted of seven owned-and-operated network-affiliated TV stations, as well as Local Marketing Agreements with stations in four markets. Hicks Muse, since its 1989 formation, has completed or entered into more than 200 transactions valued in excess of $25 billion.