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With Sinclair in, could Politico be out?

Tuesday - 7/30/2013, 5:09pm  ET

Don't be surprised if you see a house advertisement in Politico soon seeking space for rent in the Rosslyn area.

In case you missed the news Monday, suburban Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has inked a deal to buy WJLA, NewsChannel 8 and six other TV stations from Allbritton Communications Co. in a complex deal that could take up to two years to close.

Politico will likely get caught in the crossfire. Politico, also owned by Allbritton, shares a portion of the 115,000 square feet Allbritton leases at Rosslyn's Twin Towers at 1000 and 1100 Wilson Blvd. Allbritton Senior Vice President Jerry Fritz said Sinclair would assume the space Allbritton leases for WJLA and NewsChannel 8 as part of its acquisition. So far, negotiations have not gotten to the point of discussing what happens with Politico's space but Fritz told me he expects Sinclair will get to that sooner rather than later.

Representatives from Sinclair could not be immediately reached for comment.

With vacancy rates bloated and on the rise across the D.C. metro area, the Sinclair news could be a good value-add play for landlords in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor seeking to plug some holes. Fritz wasn't precisely sure how much space Politico now takes up in the towers, but Allbritton is looking to take the proceeds from the sale and put it to work expanding Politico. Allbritton also wants to invest in new online properties, and it could be that a post WJLA-NewsChannel 8 Allbritton could need expansion space before too long.

© 2013 American City Business Journals, Inc.