Tribune Closes $180 Million Sale of WATL Station to Gannett

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Tribune Co. completed the $180 million all-cash sale of its WATL channel in Atlanta to Gannett Co.

The publisher of The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times in 1995 had bought a minority stake in WATL and gained full ownership of the station in 2000 as part of its purchase of Qwest Broadcasting.

WATL's sale is part of Tribune's performance improvement plan made public May 30. It includes asset sales of $500, of which nearly $300 million has been identified.

Tribune last month sold 2.8 million shares of Time Warner common stock for about $46 million. This followed the June sale of WCWN-TV in Albany, NY, for $17 million.

The publisher now is receiving bids for a San Fernando property where a Los Angeles Times printing plant was closed earlier in the year.

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