Media conglomerate TEGNA has entered into an agreement with Nexstar Media Group to acquire 11 television stations in eight markets, including the Quad-City ABC-affiliate, WQAD.
The announcement comes as Nexstar sells 19 television stations for $1.32 billion as part of its buyout deal with Chicago's Tribune Media. TEGNA announced Wednesday it'll acquire the 11 local stations, including eight Big Four affiliates, for $740 million in cash.
Along with WQAD in the Quad-Cities, WOI and KCWI, the ABC and CW affiliates in Des Moines and Ames will be acquired, according to the news release.
"TEGNA has a proven track record of acquiring highly attractive assets that create immediate value for shareholders through significant synergies," said Dave Lougee, president and CEO of TEGNA, in the release. "These stations are an excellent strategic and financial fit and bring additional geographic diversity to our portfolio of leading stations.
Lougee said the stations "add four additional key markets to our strong political footprint as the 2020 presidential election gets underway."
In December 2018, Nexstar Media Group and Tribune Media Company jointly announced they had entered into an agreement to combine their companies. As part of the agreement, Nexstar announced it would be divesting stations from its portfolio to comply with regulatory ownership limits, according to the release.
TEGNA's acquisition of the television stations is contingent on the closing of the merger, expected to take place in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2019.
In the Quad-Cities, Nexstar continues to operate CBS-affiliate WHBF, which it acquired in 2013, according to its website. In 2016, Nexstar sold KWQC in Davenport to Gray Television.
TEGNA operates 49 television stations and two radio stations in 41 markets.