The Wall Street Journal: Discovery, Scripps shares soar on report of merger talks

Discovery Communications Inc. is in talks to combine with Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., people familiar with the situation said, a deal that would unite two media companies trying to chart a course in a cable-TV industry being upended by digital consumption.

Terms of the deal talks couldn’t be learned. Discovery Communications DISCA, -1.33%   is worth about $ 15 billion, including its preferred stocks, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Scripps SNI, -1.76%   has an $ 8.8 billion market valuation.

There is no guarantee that the two sides will reach a deal. It is also possible that another bidder for Scripps could emerge. Scripps shares were up 13% in after-hours trading, while Discovery shares were up almost 8%.

Both media companies specialize in nonfiction cable programming. Discovery owns brands such as its namesake Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC, while Scripps has a portfolio including HGTV, Cooking Channel and Food Network.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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