WJLA, News Channel 8 Could Be Sold to Fund Politico
You have to give this to Robert Allbritton: He's not afraid to throw a business overboard. Allbritton's Allbritton Communications, which owns WJLA, News Channel 8, and Politico, dramatically scaled back its hyperlocal website TBD in 2011 after running it for less than a year. Now, in a memo this morning to Politico staff, Allbritton announced that he's considering selling the TV stations to fund investments in Politico and elsewhere.
"There is no chance, none, I will sell POLITICO as part of the deal," Allbritton writes. And understandably so—Allbritton claims in his memo that Politico will once again turn a profit this year.
It shouldn't be difficult to find a buyer for WJLA, which competes moderately well in the ratings against dominant station WRC (NBC 4), according to ratings information provided by media website DCRTV. In his email, Allbritton says he decided to sell the stations because of the social responsibilities that come with them. Allbritton wants the stations to be "well-positioned" for the future, but needs to ditch them to free up a mysterious resource he calls "mindshare."
"My immediate focus is growing POLITICO," Allbritton writes.
Photo via Flickr user Mr. T in DC, Creative Commons