Sinclair buys assets of TV station in Alabama Channel 45 owner has option to buy license of Tuscaloosa outlet

November 11, 1995|By Ellen James Martin | Ellen James Martin,SUN STAFF

The rapidly expanding Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., based in Baltimore, has bought the assets of an Alabama television station for an undisclosed price, the company announced yesterday.

Sinclair, which owns Baltimore's Channel 45, has purchased the building and other assets of WDBB-TV in Tuscaloosa, Ala., said David D. Smith, Sinclair's president.

The Baltimore-based broadcast group also has entered into a management agreement to operate the license of WDBB-TV, which is currently affiliated with Fox Broadcasting.

It also has taken an option to buy the license of the station, Mr. Smith said. But Sinclair hasn't exercised its option because it is limited by federal law on the number of stations it can own, said David Amy, Sinclair's chief financial officer.

The company could take advantage of the option if a telecommunications reform law now pending in Congress becomes law. A version of that bill has yet to emerge from a House-Senate conference committee, Mr. Smith said.

Sinclair is making rapid acquisitions in expectation of the bill's passage and also because "capital is cheap," said Mr. Smith, referring to bank financing for the purchase of TV stations. Still, he said that Sinclair had used cash to purchase the assets of the Alabama station. "We have enormous cash reserves," Mr. Smith said.

Channel 45 (WBFF), Sinclair's station in Baltimore, also is affiliated with the Fox Network. Sinclair owns the licenses for six other TV stations and operates four on behalf of the licensees, including Channel 54 (WNUV).

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