Word is out that Tribune may reorganize its corporate structure and possibly sell off assets, and Minnesota-based multimedia company Hubbard Broadcasting is interested, depending on pricing and location.
Hubbard has been a strong player in the television business and recently made a splashy entrance into the audio-only side of broadcasting with the acquisition of most of Bonneville’s radio assets.
According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, Hubbard has expressed an interest in Tribune’s broadcast holdings only – it has no desire to enter the newspaper business.
Tribune only has one radio station, but it’s a huge one: iconic AM blowtorch WGN. The station would fit in very nicely with the FM stations Hubbard acquired in Chicago in the Bonneville deal.
Tribune also owns WGN-TV, which has a presence both over the air and as a cable super channel. In all, it operates 24 televisions channels in 19 markets. The Tribune stations would likely up the profile of the Hubbard group, which is mostly in smaller markets excluding its holdings in its home base of Minneapolis-St. Paul – the group’s only TV market large enough to support major leagues sports franchises. The most significant additional markets for the group include Albuquerque NM, Albany-Schenectady-Troy NY and Rochester NY.