The E.W. Scripps Company said on Tuesday it has acquired four national TV networks after buying the Katz broadcast networks in a deal worth $302 million. Scripps was already a 5% owner in part of Katz, so its net purchase price is $292 million, according to a news release. The four networks are expected to generate about $180 million in revenue and about $30 million in segment profit next year and Scripps expects it to be accretive to earnings in 2018 and beyond. The four networks are Bounce TV, Grit, Escape and Laff. "In today's fragmented television ecosystem, a growing number of viewers are consuming content from new over-the-air networks as a complement to over-the-top services," said Scripps Chief Executive Rich Boehne. "The entrepreneurs at Katz were among the first to take full advantage of this resurgence in over-the-air viewing. We were early investors in the company, and it's a strategy and team we know well." Scripps intends to pay for the deal with $250 million of new debt and about $50 million in cash on hand. The company expects the deal to close Oct. 2. Jonathan Katz, former programming executive at Turner Broadcasting, will continue to lead the Katz networks business. Shares of Scripps are up more than 2% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 index is up more than 10%.
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