×
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

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content