Gannett snaps up six Texas TV stations for $215 mln

Wed May 14, 2014 9:31am EDT

May 14 (Reuters) - Gannett Co said on Wednesday it will buy six television stations in Texas for $215 million, another move by the company to bulk up its local TV station holdings.

The company will pay London Broadcasting Co all cash for the deal, expected to close this summer pending regulatory approval.

Gannett is the largest newspaper chain in the U.S. but in the past 12 months, it has aggressively been snapping up broadcast TV stations in an effort to diversify its revenue. Last year, Gannett acquired Belo Corp TV stations for $1.5 billion, nearly doubling its TV stations.

With this deal, which includes CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates in markets including Waco and Corpus Christi, Gannett will own or operate 46 stations.

The company publishes 82 newspapers, including USA Today, but its TV stations are more profitable. Broadcast TV represented 75 percent of Gannett's operating income of about $204 million during the first quarter.

Gannett said the new stations are expected to generate approximately $50 million in revenue this year and will be accretive to earnings per share within the first 12 months. (Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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