Allbritton Communications said Wednesday it is exploring "strategic alternatives" including possibly selling the company's TV and cable properties. If so, he plans to put some of that money into POLITICO, the Hill newspaper and web site, Politico, which the company launched in 2007.
Allbritton has retained Moelis & Company LLC as financial advisor and Dow Lohnes as strategic advisor.
Allbritton said in a statement that there is no timetable for a decision, and no guarantee it will actually sell its seven ABC affils as well as a regional news net NewsChannel 8.
In a note to stations, Allbritton Chairman Robert Allbritton said the reason for exploring the sale was twofold: "First, the demand for television properties is high, given their strong and stable financial performance. Second, there is an unmistakable trend towards consolidation in this industry, as the largest media groups see clear benefits in holding multiple properties."
The properties potentially up for sale are WJLA-TV and NewsChannel 8, both Washington;WCFT-TV/WJSU-TV/WBMA-LP, Birmingham-Tuscaloosa-Anniston, Ala.; WHTM-TV Harrisburg, Penn.; KATV Little Rock, Ark.; KTUL Tulsa, Okla.; WSET-TV Lynchburg, Va.; WCIV Charleston, W. Va.
Robert Allbritton told staffers at Politico that there was not chance he would be selling that property.
"Let me be unmistakably clear to you and potential buyers: there is no chance, none, I will sell POLITICO as part of the deal," he wrote in a note to POLITICO staffers. “My future is POLITICO and companies like it. In fact, my plan is to invest even more in POLITICO and to place additional bets on media companies that meet my definition of successful journalistic and business enterprises."