Media Gen/LIN To Sell Or Swap In 5 Markets

Media General and LIN have pledged to sell or swap stations in five markets to comply with FCC ownership rules. The companies, which announced their $1.6 million merger Friday morning, have overlapping stations in Providence, Savannah, Birmingham, Mobile and Green Bay.
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Before they can close their proposed $1.6 billion merger, Media General and LIN Media will have to sell or swap stations in five markets to comply with FCC rules limiting common ownership of more than one station in a market, Media General CEO George Mahoney told securities analysts following the announcement of the mega-deal this morning.

Media General and LIN have overlapping stations in five markets -- Providence; Savannah, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Mobile, Ala.; and Green Bay, Wis.

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In Providence, Media General owns WJAR (NBC); LIN owns WPRI (CBS) and operates WNAC (Fox) through a marketing agreement.

In Savannah, Media General owns WSAV (NBC); LIN owns WJCL (ABC) and operates WTGS (Fox) through a marketing agreement.

In Birmingham, Media General owns WVTM (NBC); LIN owns WIAT (CBS).

In Mobile, Media General owns WKRG (CBS); LIN owns WALA (Fox) and WFNA (CW).

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In Green Bay, Media General owns WBAY (ABC); LIN owns WLUK (Fox) and WCWF (CW).

"We recognize the issue, and we are going to work very constructively and creatively with the FCC to make sure we close this transaction as quickly as possible," said Mahoney. "We are clear that certain stations will have to be swapped or sold.”

Mahoney suggested that he preferred swaps, even though they are harder to do than straight sales. "It cleans out the issue and could allow us to grow our national footprint. There is real opportunity there."

In any case, no buyer or potential swap partner should expect a discount because the pressure to comply with FCC rules, Mahoney said.

"There are people out there that very much want to have these kinds of television stations," Mahoney said. "It will be fun for you to know that our emails have already been lighting up this morning."

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Comments (12) -

FreeRightsUSA Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Keep Sinclair out please
dantheflash2011 Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Maybe Tribune Broadcasting Will Buy Providence, Birmingham, and Green Bay an Make 42 Stations altogether I Hope.
James Cieloha Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Media General has the option of giving KXAN/KNVA/KBVO CD/KBVO (Option) to Nexstar for WFFT to Media General as a way for Nexstar to have multiple stations in Austin, Texas and being closer to Nexstar headquarters in Irving, Texas, KRON (Option), WLUK/WCWF, and WPRI/WNAC to Tribune for KRCW (Option), and WHNT to Media General, WALA/WFNA to Raycom for KOLD to Media General, and WTVM, and WJCL/WTGS to Gray for KALB and KNOE/KAQY to Media General.
Toby Williams Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Beat it James Cieloha, you have no idea how buying/selling a TV station works!
RealTVguy Nickname posted over 3 years ago
James, please answer one of the following two questions. Do you not know you are a laughing stock? Do you not care you are a laughing stock? Thank you.
SalesGal Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Anyone think the Fox O&O's will go for Green Bay since they like Fox affiliates in NFL markets and this one is a legacy one. If I were Lin/MG I'd sell WBAY to Sinclair since Sinclair likes primary affiliates in swing states, hang onto that Packer football ad inventory. Sinclair would be better there than a Nexstar duop. And would this make two stations in Birmingham up for sale soon, the Sinclair sell of the the MG/Lin sell off ? Nice.
Joe Capitano posted over 3 years ago
If FOX doesn't make a play for Green Bay, Rich Uncle Pennybags himself Chase Carey should resign. But then, FOX didn't make an offer for the Seattle affiliate when Tribune was hurting.
SalesGrrl Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Nexstar is already in Green Bay, owning WFRV-TV. DMA 69 is a little big for Sinclair, don't you think? They are cutting it close to the amount of households they can reach. I definitely seek Fox coming back for their station, what with the station being located a block or so from the Green Bay Packers stadium.
SalesGal Nickname posted over 3 years ago
IMHO, the CBS in B'ham and Mobile and the Fox in GB have some very good key programming from the network that does great locally so whoever gets these stations needs to be smart. I feel Lin is a great group, let's hope Journal or Quincy can step up and buy a few more so Sinclair and Nexstar are not a player.
SalesGrrl Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Out of the two stations in GB, I'd wager the Fox makes more money than the ABC. Perhaps they'll spin off the ABC. Journal has that station in Milwaukee, that would be a good neighbor.
SalesGal Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Quincy has the ABC's in Madison, Wausau and LaCrosse so I am sure both are interested for good neighboring reasons.
James Cieloha Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Media General has the option of giving KXAN/KNVA/KBVO CD/KBVO (option) to Nexstar for WFFT to Media General as a way for Nexstar to have multiple stations in Austin, Texas and being closer to Nexstar headquarters in Irving, Texas, KRON (option), WLUK while WCWF can be consolidated with WBAY, and WNAC to Tribune with Tribune acquiring WNAC as a way for Tribune to be able to fully acquire WLNE from Philip Lombardo and his Citadel Communications for KRCW (option) to form a duopoly with KOIN, WREG (option), and WHNT to Media General, WALA while WFNA can be consolidated with WKRG to Raycom for KOLD (option), and KGMB (plus regains virtual channel 9 and their physical RF channel 22 from KFVE while KFVE regains virtual channel 5 and their physical RF channel 23 and KGMB regains satellites KGMD and KGMV as well) to form a duopoly with KHON to Media General, WVTM, and WJCL/WTGS to Gray for KHAS(Hoak) and KSNB(Gray) combined with KSNB being a full satellite of KHAS, KALB, and KNOE/KAQY(all from the Gray/Hoak Media deal) to Media General , and Meredith can make a play for WPRI.
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 26, 2016
  • 1.
    4.4/12
  • 2.
    2.8/8
  • 3.
    2.5/7
  • 4.
    1.5/4
  • 5.
    0.8/2
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

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