Big Deals = Big Changes In Station Groups
Then in March, Media General and LIN Media announced a $1.6 billion merger. The resulting company will have 74 stations in 46 markets and coverage of 23% of all TV homes. Media General shareholders would end up with 64% of the new merged company that will be called Media General and remain based in Media General's Richmond, Va., offices, but LIN President-CEO Vincent Sadusky will retain those titles and will run it. Pre-merger Media General CEO George Mahoney will leave once the merger closes.
The Media General-LIN deal is still awaiting FCC approval; Media General says it hopes to close by early next year.
9. HEARST TELEVISION
2013 Revenue: $726 million
Stations: 36 is 26 markets
Ownership: Hearst Corp. (private)
Key executives: Frank A. Bennack Jr., executive vice chairman, Hearst Corp.; Steven Swartz, president-CEO, Hearst Corp.; Jordan Wertlieb, president, Hearst Television Inc.
What's up: It had been rumored for several months toward the end of last year that Hearst Television CEO David Barrett would step down and turn over day-to-day operation of Hearst Corp.'s station group to President-COO Jordan Wertlieb. In a state-of-the-corporation memo to employees on Jan. 2, Hearst Corp. Swartz unceremoniously announced that the transition had already taken place.
"David Barrett completed at year-end an outstanding 15-year run as CEO of Hearst Television and handed over leadership to his deputy, Jordan Wertlieb, president, and himself a 20-year veteran of the group," the memo said. "David will remain very active as a Hearst trustee and board member."
The following month, Hearst chose WPIX New York GM Eric Meyrowitz to oversee sales activities at Hearst's 29 stations along with Kathleen Keefe with both holding VP of sales titles. Then in April, Keefe announced that she would retire at the end of 2014. Keefe joined Hearst Television in 2001, leading the sales efforts of the publicly traded Hearst-Argyle Television where she helped the company achieve record advertising revenues during her tenure.
10. UNIVISION COMMUNICATIONS
2013 Revenue: $697 million
Stations: 61 in 25 markets
Ownership: Broadcasting Media Partners Inc., an investor group including Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group.
Key executives: Randy Falco, president-CEO, Univision Communications; Kevin Cuddihy, president, Univision Television Group; Alberto Mier y Terán, EVP, Univision Television Group; Isaac Lee, president, news; Beau Ferrari, EVP of operations, Univision Networks
What's up: In March Univision Communications asked the FCC to allow it to continue negotiating retransmission consent deals for all Entravision Communications TV stations, even though most broadcasters are barred from negotiating retrans agreements for multiple stations in the same market. Univision was seeking special relief from the FCC because the agency adopted a new regulation on March 31 that would generally bar broadcasters from joint TV station retransmission consent negotiations.
The company promoted the GM of its flagship KMEX Los Angeles, Alberto Mier y Terán, to executive vice president of its Univision Television Group. Mier y Terán continues as GM of its Los Angeles stations KMEX and KFTR (UniMás), and now joined the executive team of UTG. He is now involved in the strategic direction of the group, including personnel, revenue, expense and station management. He reports to Kevin Cuddihy, president of UTG.
Univision promoted Patsy Loris from senior news director to VP of news last May as the Hispanic network prepared to launch its Fusion joint venture with ABC.
In September, Cesar Conde resigned as president of Univision Networks to become an executive vice president at NBCUniversal. In this newly created role, he will focus on business development, strategic priorities and special business projects across the NBCUniversal portfolio. He also will oversee the International Group.
Lourdes Torres was named vice president of regional news for Univision News last November. In her new role, she continues as director of special projects and added oversight for all programming on Univision O&Os.
This April, Univision News President Isaac Lee was named to the board of directors of the Associated Press.
11. RAYCOM MEDIA
2013 Revenue: $614 million
Stations: 43 in 35 markets
Ownership: Employee owned
Key executives: Paul McTear, president-CEO; Leon Long, VP-television; Don Richards; VP-television; Jeff Rosser, VP-television; Brad Streit, VP-television
What's up: Longtime Raycom executive Wayne Daugherty retired as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer at the end of 2013. Daugherty had held that post since 2006; he began his career in TV sales almost 45 years ago.
Raycom announced in February that its syndicated newsmagazine America Now with co-hosts Leeza Gibbons and Bill Rancic would not return for a fifth season this fall. America Now is produced by ITV Studios America for Raycom. Trifecta Entertainment distributes the show.
12. COX MEDIA GROUP
2013 Revenue: $614 million
Stations: 15 in 10 markets
Ownership: Cox Enterprises (private)
Key executives: Jimmy W. Hayes, president-CEO, Cox Enterprises; Bill Hoffman, president, Cox Media Group; Neil Johnston, EVP, Strategy & Digital Innovation, Cox Media Group; Jane Williams, EVP, Television; Mike Joseph, EVP, Cox Media Group; Charles Odom, VP-CFO, Cox Media Group