The parent company of two Maine television news stations has withdrawn an approximately $8.5 billion bid to acquire the owner of two others, according to a news report from Reuters.
Gray Television, which owns WABI-TV in Bangor and WAGM-TV in Presque Isle, has reportedly pulled its offer to buy Tegna Inc., the owner of News Center Maine, according to Reuters. News Center Maine consists of WCSH 6 in Portland and WLBZ 2 in Bangor.
Reuters, which based its reporting on unnamed sources, said that Gray Television withdrew the offer over concerns about the financial effects of the coronavirus on regional televisions stations. Reuters first reported the deal in early March, and later that month reported that it had been withdrawn.
Representatives from Gray Television did not immediately respond to requests for comment or confirmation.
Tegna said in a March 29 statement that four different suitors had approached the company with unsolicited acquisition offers and that the Virginia-based company had entered into discussions with two of them. Both, however, withdrew from those discussions when the coronavirus pandemic set in.
The company didn’t identify the prospective buyers.
TV station operators, like other media, have seen advertising decline with the economy largely shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.