×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tribune Top Executive Payouts Disclosed as FCC Sets Sinclair Merger Comments Timetable

Top Tribune Media executives are set for multimillion-dollar payouts if the company’s $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group is completed.

The payouts were revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday by Sinclair. That came a day after the FCC set the timetable for public comments on the proposed combination as part of its review process.

The pact announced in May is expected to draw significant opposition from media watchdog groups as it is poised to create a broadcast TV colossus with more than 200 stations and reaching more than 70% of U.S. TV households. Sinclair already owns more than 170 stations and aims to add Tribune’s 42 stations. Sinclair has acknowledged in FCC filings that it may have to sell off some stations to secure FCC approval of the deal.

Edward Lazarus, Tribune Media exec VP and general counsel, is estimated to receive $9.7 million from severance compensation and the value of his existing holdings in Tribune stock and options. Chandler Bigelow, chief financial officer, is estimated to receive $9.2 million. Larry Wert, president of Tribune’s TV station division, is set to pull in $7.8 million.

Peter Kern, who has served as Tribune’s interim CEO since March, will take in $207,774. Former Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori will receive $1.7 million based on the value of his existing equity holdings.

On Thursday, the FCC set Aug. 7 as the first deadline for comments from the public asking the commission to reject the deal. Aug. 22 is the deadline for opposition arguments to those petitions to deny. Replies to those opposition arguments are due by Aug. 29.

Sinclair acknowledge in its merger-related filing with the FCC last week that the merger as it stands now would put the combined company 6.5% above the current limit on the number of stations that a single entity can own.

The FCC is set to conduct a review of its existing media ownership rules and may well raise the cap enough to allow Sinclair to avoid divestitures. Sinclair said it would be prepared to sell stations if need be to comply with the current limit of 39% of TV households, or with concerns about its control of more than two stations in some markets that would result from the Tribune combination.

Newly installed FCC chairman Ajit Pai signaled his willingness to ease broadcast TV ownership rules in April when he led the charge to reinstate the so-called UHF discount. That rule, which was eliminated just last year, counts UHF stations (channels 14-69) at half of their actual market reach compared to VHF stations (channels 2-13). The vast majority of Sinclair’s stations are UHF outlets, which made it plausible for Sinclair to acquire Tribune even with the existing 39% national limit.

More TV

  • WGA West Logo

    Writers Guild Sends Hollywood Agents Proposed Code of Conduct

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent Hollywood talent agencies a proposed “Code of Conduct” with tough new restrictions on how they operate as agents for writer clients. The WGA made the disclosure Thursday night in an email to its 12,000 members, a day after announcing that it will hold a March 25 [...]

  • Jussie Smollett court

    Jussie Smollett's Attorneys Say He Was Victim of Police 'Spectacle'

    Jussie Smollett’s legal team issued a defiant statement on Thursday night, saying the “Empire” actor feels betrayed by the justice system and hinting at a political motive for his prosecution. Smollett was arrested early Thursday on a felony charge of filing a false police report. He was released after a court hearing on $100,000 bond, [...]

  • Carra Patterson Sarah Levy Paola Lazaro

    Fox Casts Four Leads in 'Patty's Auto' Pilot

    Fox has announced the casting of four lead characters for its multi-cam comedy pilot “Patty’s Auto,” including the eponymous Patty. Inspired by Patrice Banks’ Girls Auto Clinic, an auto repair shop with all female mechanics, the project centers on Patty, the intimidating owner of Patty’s Auto who will be played by “Straight Outta Compton” alumna [...]

  • Adam Pally Abby Elliott

    Adam Pally, Abby Elliott Join Cast of NBC Comedy Pilot 'Uninsured'

    NBC pilot “Uninsured” has cast four of its series regulars, with Adam Pally (“The Mindy Project,” “The President Show”) and Abby Elliott (“Saturday Night Live,” “Odd Mom Out”) playing the young married couple at the center of the show. Pally will play Dave, who is described as a “natural hype man with a good heart.” Elliott [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Appeared in Documentary on

    Jussie Smollett Recently Hosted Doc on Lynching, Filmmaker Talks 'Coincidence'

    In May 2018, Jussie Smollett appeared as the narrator and correspondent in an episode of the Epix documentary series “America Divided” that explored the subject of hate crimes, specifically lynching, in the state of Tennessee. Now that the “Empire” actor has been charged with filing a false police report and Chicago police are convinced he [...]

  • TV News Roundup: CBS All Access

    TV News Roundup: 'Twilight Zone' Reboot Drops First Full Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, CBS All Access has released the official trailer for the rebooted “Twilight Zone” and Sophia Bush will guest star on “Jane the Virgin.” CASTING “One Tree Hill” actress and Time’s Up activist Sophia Bush has been cast as a guest star on the fifth and final season of “Jane the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content