City Desk

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

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  • Typical DC BS

    Another nitwit kid who will run his father's business into the ground with stupid decisonmaking. Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in only one generation.

  • James Cieloha

    WRC, WTTG, WJLA, WUSA, WDCA, WDCW and educational WETA in Washington and WMAR, WBAL, WJZ, WUTB, WBFF, WNUV, and Maryland Public Broadcasting stations WMPB in Baltimore and WMPT in Annapolis predicted over the air signals overlap in each other TV DMA's. Walt Disney/ ABC buying WJLA would be terrific since ABC already operates a news bureau in Washington, DC and for competitive reasons for both the Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland TV DMA.. No to Scripps due to owning ABC station WMAR, no to Hearst due to owning NBC station WBAL, and a big no no for Sinclair (Sincrap) due to owning FOX station WBFF, and controlling and managing CW station WNUV under Cunningham, and NYNET station WUTB under Deerfield and all of them with CBS O&O WJZ can be reachable over the air in Washington, DC at times. I would consider WBFF moving to channel 13 as it's virtual and RF channel with WJZ moving to channel 45 as it's virtual channel and channel 46 as it's RF channel. I would be okay with Hearst getting KATV, KTUL, WSET, and WCIV, with Nexstar getting WHTM and combined the operations with WLYH, and with Sinclair getting the combined WBMA LD/WJSU/WCFT with the intent of using the the combined WBMA LD/WJSU/WCFT to program FOX on it's DT1 channel and MYNET on it's DT2 channel while WABM continues to program MYNET on it's DT 1 channel and add FOX on it's DT2 channel. Sinclair keeps the CW affiliation on WTTO and WDBB. Sinclair could transfer the license of WTTO and WDBB to Cunningham and WABM to Deerfield while Sinclair fully owns the combined WBMA LD/WJSU/WCFT combo. Raycom picks up the ABC affiliation and airs it on WBRC again since Fall of 1996.

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