Sinclair Broadcasting holding on to WPIX

The Sinclair Broadcast Group on Tuesday announced deals to sell 23 TV stations — and New York’s WPIX was not on the list.

Previously, Sinclair said it planned to sell WPIX to remain under the FCC nationwide ownership cap.

Sinclair has to sell stations if it hopes to win regulatory approval of its $6.6 billion deal to buy Tribune Media.

There has been criticism of Sinclair’s plans to sell two of Tribune’s prized stations — WPIX and Chicago’s WGN — to buyers who did not seem independent. With WPIX, Sinclair had a deal to sell the station for $15 million to Cunningham Broadcasting, which is believed to be owned by the estate of the late mother of Sinclair Chairman David Smith.

Under the proposed deal, Sinclair would have had the right to buy the station back at a later time.

WGN was included among the 23 stations.

On Tuesday, Sinclair said it would sell the 23 stations to Standard Media Group and Meredith Corp. Fox Television Stations will also buy stations, sources said.

The Justice Department, also reviewing the deal, is now expected to approve the merger, a source said.

Neither Sinclair nor Fox returned calls seeking comment.

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