updated 4/20/2007 10:31:15 AM ET 2007-04-20T14:31:15

Clear Channel, the nation's largest operator of radio stations, said Friday it agreed to sell its television group to a private equity firm for $1.2 billion.

The sale was expected and comes two days after Clear Channel agreed to go private under a sweetened buyout bid of $19.35 billion from private equity firms Bain Capital Partners LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, despite opposition from two large shareholders who say the price is too low.

The sale of the television group Friday, to Providence Equity Partners, includes 56 television stations in 24 markets and the associated Web sites. Clear Channel, which also owns a large outdoor advertising unit, expects the sale to generate proceeds of $1.1 billion and to close in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval.

The TV group comprises 10 CW, eight Fox, seven NBC, six ABC, six CBS, four My Network TV, two NBC Weather Plus, two Telemundo, five independent stations, and six stations affiliated with Clear Channel's Variety Television Network, the company said.

The sale of the TV group is not contingent upon completion of the Clear Channel buyout.

Clear Channel plans to hold a shareholder vote on the sale of the company on May 8.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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