Media General

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Not to be confused with MediaNews Group or Raycom Media.
Media General, Inc.
Public
Traded as NYSEMEG
Industry Broadcast and Digital
Predecessor Park Communications
Spartan Communications
Young Broadcasting
LIN Media
Founded 1940
Headquarters Richmond, Virginia Providence, Rhode Island Austin, Texas
Key people
Warren Buffett (Financier)
Mario Gabelli (Financier)
J. Stewart Bryan III (Chairman)
Vincent L. Sadusky
(President and CEO)
Products Television
Radio
Internet
Website www.mediageneral.com

Media General, Inc. is an American media company based in the Southeastern United States. The company was formed in 1940 when Richmond, Virginia's two newspapers, the Times-Dispatch and News Leader, merged to form Richmond Newspapers. In 1969, as the company's media properties grew and diversified, it was renamed Media General. Media General is headquartered in Richmond and the San Francisco Bay Area is its largest market.

In 2013 and 2014, Media General expanded significantly through its mergers with Young Broadcasting and LIN Media; as of the latter merger, Media General is now run by the principal staff of LIN Media, including CEO Vincent L. Sadusky.

History[edit]

The conglomeration of newspapers was founded in 1940 when owners of Richmond, Virginia's two newspapers, the Times-Dispatch and News Leader, merged them to form Richmond Newspapers, Inc. In 1969, as the company's media properties grew and diversified, it was renamed Media General.

Additional Acquisitions[edit]

In 1982 the company acquired The William B. Tanner Company (previously known as Pepper-Tanner), a commercial radio jingle production company headquartered in Memphis. It was divested in 1988.

In 1996, Media General acquired Park Acquisitions, the holding company for Park Communications, formerly owned by the media entrepreneur Roy H. Park.[1]

In 1999, Media General bought Spartanburg-based Spartan Communications, which increased Media General's station portfolio from 14 to 27.[2]

Four NBC-owned stations in smaller markets that were put up for sale on January 9, 2006 on April 6 NBC Universal and Media General announced that the latter would purchase the four NBC O&O's as part of a $600 million four-station deal between the two companies.

Divestment of properties in the late 2000s[edit]

On August 2, 2006, Media General announced that it will sell WIAT and KIMT to New Vision Television for $35 million; the sale was finalized on October 12, 2006.

On October 29, 2007, Media General announced that the company was exploring the sale of WCWJ, KALB-TV, WMBB, WTVQ, and WNEG-TV. On March 14, 2008, the company reached an agreement to sell KALB and WMBB to Hoak Media. The deal was closed on July 16. On June 25, 2008, Media General announced the sale of WNEG-TV to the University of Georgia.[3] On January 28, 2009, the Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it had reached an agreement to purchase WCWJ. The deal was finalized on May 1, 2009.

2010s: Expansions, merger with LIN Media[edit]

On June 6, 2013, it was announced that Young Broadcasting and Media General would merge. Due to the way the merger was structured, Young Broadcasting's shareholders controlled a majority of Media General's stock following the merger. The combined company owned 30 stations, reaching 14% of the United States.[4] On November 8, FCC approved the merger.[5]

On March 21, 2014, Media General and LIN Media announced that the two companies would merge. The deal, worth an estimated $1.6 billion, would create an entity of 71 stations with a combined reach of 24% of U.S. television households. 45 Media General staff members were laid off; CEO George Mahoney stepped down in favor of his LIN counterpart Vincent Sadusky, and his own management team.[6] In order to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as planned changes to rules regarding same-market television stations which would prohibit future joint sales agreements, some of the stations would be sold to several other companies in five markets (Birmingham, Green Bay, Mobile, Providence and Savannah) where both groups already own stations.[7][8][9]

On August 20, 2014, Media General and LIN Media announced several sales. Media General sold WJAR, WLUK, and WCWF to the Sinclair Broadcast Group in exchange for Sinclair's KXRM, KXTU, and WTTA. Hearst Television acquired WVTM and WJCL, and Meredith Corporation acquired WALA.[10] On October 6, the two companies' shareholders approved the deal,[11] and the FCC approved the deal on December 12.[12] The merger was completed on December 19.[13] A condition of the deal requires Media General to end the joint sales agreements it has with stations in Youngstown, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio, and Topeka, Kansas, due to tighter scrutiny such deals are getting by the FCC. Media General received a two-year waiver in those markets to end the JSAs.[14]

On July 14, 2015, Media General pulled its stations off of Mediacom cable systems across the United States due to a carriage dispute over retransmission consent fees.[15] This carriage dispute saw Media General stations disappear from Mediacom lineups in 14 television markets across the United States and even three of the Fox affiliates owned by Media General were lost to Mediacom subscribers in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Terre Haute, Indiana, and Topeka, Kansas just before the start of the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[16] On July 30, 2015, Mediacom and Media General reached a new agreement, thereby restoring Media General owned stations to Mediacom subscribers in the affected areas.[17]

Acquisition by Nexstar[edit]

On September 8, 2015, it was announced that Media General would acquire Meredith Corporation in a cash and stock deal valued at $2.4 billion. Pending regulatory and shareholder approval, the deal was expected to be consummated in June 2016. The combined company was to be known as Meredith Media General, and be the third-largest owner of television stations in the United States—serving an estimated 30% of households. In order to comply with FCC regulations, some stations would have been sold to other companies in six markets where both groups already own stations (Greenville-Spartanburg, Hartford-New Haven, Mobile, Nashville, Portland (OR) and Springfield (MA)). Media General shareholders would have controlled 65% of the company, with Meredith shareholders holding 35%. [18]

On September 28, it was revealed that Nexstar Broadcasting Group had made an unsolicited cash-and-stock offer for Media General, valued at $14.50 per-share. Following the announcement, Media General shareholders Oppenheimer Holdings (7% stake) and Starboard Capital (4.5% stake) opposed the Meredith merger in favor of selling to Nexstar. On October 6, 2015, the New York Post speculated that the deal had been called off, believing that the deal was unlikely to receive further shareholder support due to these objections. Both companies have denied that this was the case, and reported that other major shareholders were backing the merger.[19][20] Media General hired additional firms to evaluate the Nexstar bid.[21] On November 16, Media General rejected the offer but agreed to negotiate after concluding its merger with Meredith.[22]

On January 27, 2016, Media General announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Nexstar in a deal valued at $17.14 per-share, valuing the company at $4.6 billion plus the assumption of $2.3 billion debt. The combined company will be known as Nexstar Media Group, and own 171 stations, serving an estimated 39% of households. The company will pay Meredith a termination fee of $60 million, and give Meredith right of first refusal to acquire any broadcast or digital properties that may be divested during the merge. The deal also includes contingent value rights for Media General shareholders if it sells spectrum from its stations during the FCC's spectrum incentive auction.[23][24]

On July 13, 2016, the FCC issued a $700,000 fine against Media General for using a shared services agreement with WAGT to prevent its new owner Gray Television from divesting it in the spectrum incentive auction.[25]

Major assets[edit]

Current Media General stations[edit]

Stations are arranged in alphabetical order by state and city of license.

Notes:

  • (**) – Indicates a station built and signed on by Media General.
  • (¤¤) – Indicates a station owned by Park Communications prior to its acquisition by Media General in 1997.
  • (##) – Indicates a station owned by Spartan Radiocasting prior to its acquisition by Media General in 2000.
  • (++) – Indicates a station acquired by Media General from NBC Universal in 2006.
  • (Y) – Indicates a station owned by Young Broadcasting prior to its merger with Media General in 2013.
  • (§§) – Indicates a station owned by LIN Media prior to its merger with Media General in 2014.
City of license / Market Station Channel
TV (RF)
Owned Since Network Affiliation
Birmingham - Tuscaloosa - Anniston, AL WIAT ¤¤ §§ 42 (30) 2014
(previously owned from 1997-2006)
CBS
Mobile - Pensacola WKRG-TV ## 5 (27) 2000 CBS
WFNA §§ 55 (25) 2014 The CW
San Francisco KRON-TV Y 4 (38) 2013 MyNetworkTV
Colorado Springs - Pueblo, CO KXRM-TV 21 (22) 2014 Fox
KXTU-LD 57 (20) 2014 The CW
New Haven - Hartford WTNH §§ 8 (10) 2014 ABC
WCTX §§ 59 (39) 2014 MyNetworkTV
Tampa - St. Petersburg WFLA-TV ** 8 (7) 1966 NBC
WTTA 38 (32) 2014 MyNetworkTV
Augusta WJBF ## 6 (42) 2000 ABC
Columbus, GA WRBL ## 3 (15) 2000 CBS
Savannah - Hilton Head WSAV-TV 3 (39) 1997 NBC
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Honolulu, Hawaii KHON-TV §§ 2 (8) 2014 Fox
Hilo, Hawaii KHAW-TV §§
(Satellite of KHON)
11 (11) 2014 Fox
Wailuku, Hawaii KAII-TV §§
(Satellite of KHON)
7 (7) 2014 Fox
Fort Wayne, Indiana WANE-TV §§ 15 (31) 2014 CBS
Indianapolis - Marion, Indiana WISH-TV §§ 8 (9) 2014 The CW
WNDY-TV §§ 23 (32) 2014 MyNetworkTV
WIIH-CD §§
(Translator for WISH-TV)
17 (8) 2014 The CW
Lafayette, Indiana WLFI-TV §§ 18 (11) 2014 CBS
Terre Haute, Indiana WTHI-TV §§ 10 (10) 2014 CBS
Fox/MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Davenport - Moline - Quad Cities KWQC-TV Y 6 (36) 2013 NBC
Mason City, Iowa - Rochester, Minnesota KIMT ## §§ 3 (42) 2014
(previously owned from 2000-2006)
CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Topeka, Kansas KSNT §§ 27 (27) 2014 NBC
KTMJ-CD §§ 43 (43) 2014 Fox
KTKA-TV 1 49 (49) 2014 ABC
The CW (DT3)
Wichita, Kansas KSNW §§ 3 (45) 2014 NBC
Great Bend, Kansas KSNC §§
(Satellite of KSNW)
2 (22) 2014 NBC
Garden City, Kansas KSNG §§
(Satellite of KSNW)
11 (11) 2014 NBC
McCook, Nebraska KSNK §§
(Satellite of KSNW)
8 (12) 2014 NBC
Salina, Kansas KSNL-LD §§
(Satellite of KSNW)
47 (47) 2014 NBC
Lafayette, Louisiana KLFY-TV Y 10 (10) 2013 CBS
GetTVDT2,
IonDT3
Springfield, Massachusetts WWLP §§ 22 (11) 2014 NBC
WFXQ-CD §§
(Satellite of WWLP)
28 (28) 2014 NBC
Grand Rapids WOOD-TV §§ 8 (7) 2014 NBC
WXSP-CD §§ 15 (15) 2014 MyNetworkTV
Battle Creek, Michigan WOTV §§ 41 (20) 2014 ABC
Lansing WLNS-TV Y 6 (36) 2013 CBS
WLAJ 2 53 (51) 2013 ABC
The CW (DT2)
Jackson, Mississippi WJTV 12 (12) 2000 CBS
The CW (DT2)
Hattiesburg - Laurel WHLT
(Semi-satellite of WJTV)
22 (22) 2000 CBS
Albuquerque - Santa Fe KRQE §§ 13 (13) 2014 CBS
KASA-TV §§ 2 (27) 2014 Fox
KWBQ 3 29 (19) 2014 The CW
KASY-TV 3 50 (45) 2014 MyNetworkTV
Roswell, New Mexico KBIM-TV §§
(Satellite of KRQE)
10 (10) 2014 CBS
KRWB-TV 3
(Satellite of KWBQ)
21 (21) 2014 The CW
Durango, Colorado KREZ-TV §§
(Satellite of KRQE)
6 (15) 2014 CBS
Albany - Schenectady - Troy WTEN Y 10 (26) 2013 ABC
WXXA-TV 2 23 (7) 2013 Fox
Adams, Massachusetts WCDC-TV Y
(Satellite of WTEN)
19 (36) 2013 ABC
Buffalo WIVB-TV §§ 4 (39) 2014 CBS
WNLO §§ 23 (32) 2014 The CW
Greenville - New Bern - Washington WNCT-TV ¤¤ 9 (10) 1997 CBS
The CW (DT2)
Raleigh - Durham - Fayetteville WNCN ++ 17 (17) 2006 CBS
Columbus, OH WCMH-TV ++ 4 (14) 2006 NBC
Dayton - Springfield, Ohio WDTN §§ 2 (50) 2014 NBC
WBDT 1 26 (26) 2014 The CW
Youngstown, Ohio WKBN-TV §§ 27 (41) 2014 CBS
WYFX-LD §§ 19 (19) 2014 Fox
WYTV 1 33 (36) 2014 ABC
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Portland, OR KOIN §§ 6 (40) 2014 CBS
Harrisburg - Lancaster - Lebanon - York WHTM-TV 27 (10) 2014 ABC
Providence - New Bedford WPRI-TV §§ 12 (13) 2014 CBS
WNAC-TV 4 64 (12) 2014 Fox
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Charleston, SC WCBD-TV 2 (50) 1983 NBC
The CW (DT2)
Florence - Myrtle Beach WBTW ## 13 (13) 2000 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Greenville - Spartanburg - Asheville - Anderson WSPA-TV ## 7 (7) 2000 CBS
WYCW 62 (45) 2001 The CW
Sioux Falls, SD KELO-TV Y 11 (11) 2013 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Frorence - Aberdeen, SD KDLO-TV Y
(Satellite of KELO)
3 (3) 2013 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Reliance - Pierre, SD KPLO-TV Y
(Satellite of KELO)
6 (13) 2013 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Rapid City, SD KCLO-TV Y
(Satellite of KELO)
16 (15) 2013 CBS
Knoxville WATE-TV Y 6 (26) 2013 ABC
Nashville WKRN-TV Y 2 (27) 2013 ABC
Tri-Cities (TN / VA) WJHL-TV ¤¤ 11 (11) 1997 CBS
ABC (DT2)
Austin KXAN-TV §§ 36 (21) 2014 NBC
KNVA 1 54 (49) 2014 The CW
KBVO-CD §§
(Satellite of KBVO)
51 (51) 2014 MyNetworkTV
Llano, Texas KBVO §§ 14 (27) 2014 MyNetworkTV
Norfolk - Portsmouth - Virginia Beach WAVY-TV §§ 10 (31) 2014 NBC
WVBT §§ 43 (29) 2014 Fox
Richmond - Petersburg WRIC-TV Y 8 (22) 2013 ABC
Roanoke - Lynchburg WSLS-TV ¤¤ 10 (30) 1997 NBC
Green Bay - Appleton WBAY-TV Y 2 (23) 2013 ABC

Other Notes:

  • 1 Owned by Vaughan Media, Media General operates the stations through a Shared Services Agreement.
  • 2 Owned by Shield Media, Media General operates the stations through an SSA.
  • 3 Owned by Tamer Media, LLC, Media General operates the stations through an SSA.
  • 4 Owned by Super Towers, Inc., Media General operates WNAC through a local marketing agreement.

Former Media General stations[edit]

City of license / Market Station Channel
TV (RF)
Years Owned Current Ownership Status
Birmingham, Alabama WVTM-TV ++ 13 (13) 2006-2014 NBC affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Montgomery, Alabama WNCF ¤¤ 32 (31) 1997-1999 ABC affiliate owned by SagamoreHill Broadcasting
(Operated through a LMA by Bahakel Communications)
Jacksonville, Florida WJKS/WJWB/WCWJ 17 (34) 1982-2009 The CW affiliate owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group
Panama City, Florida WMBB ## 13 (13) 2000-2008 ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group
Augusta, Georgia WAGT 26 (30) 2010-2016 1 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Toccoa, Georgia WNEG-TV ## 32 (24) 2000-2008 Heroes & Icons affiliate, WGTA, owned by Marquee Broadcasting
Wichita, Kansas KWCH-TV ## 12 (19) 2000-2006 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
Ensign/Dodge City, Kansas KBSD-TV ##
(Satellite of KWCH)
6 (6) 2000-2006 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
Goodland, Kansas KBSL-TV ##
(Satellite of KWCH)
10 (10) 2000-2006 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
Hays, Kansas KBSH-TV ##
(Satellite of KWCH)
7 (7) 2000-2006 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
Lexington, Kentucky WTVQ-TV ¤¤ 36 (40) 1997-2008 ABC affiliate owned by Morris Multimedia[26]
Alexandria, Louisiana KALB-TV ¤¤ 5 (35) 1997-2008 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Utica, New York WUTR ¤¤ 20 (30) 1997 ABC affiliate owned by Mission Broadcasting
(Operated through a LMA by Nexstar Broadcasting Group)
Providence - New Bedford WJAR ++ 10 (51) 2006-2014 NBC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Chattanooga, Tennessee WDEF-TV ¤¤ 12 (12) 1997-2006 CBS affiliate owned by Morris Multimedia

Notes:

Other assets[edit]

  • Blockdot
  • Boxerjam Media
  • Atlee Park
  • BiteSizeTV
    • Hollywood Today Live, a daily syndicated entertainment news program distributed by Media General stations, along with Fox Television Stations under a traditional syndication arrangement.

Former assets[edit]

On May 17, 2012, it was announced that investment company Berkshire Hathaway will be acquiring Media General's newspaper division (excluding The Tampa Tribune); these newspapers will be merged into Berkshire Hathaway's World Media Enterprises division, a sister company of its other newspaper holdings under the Omaha World-Herald.[27] The deal closed June 25, 2012.[28] Media General's chairman and former CEO, J. Stewart Bryan III said the company faced a choice: either sell its newspaper division or file for bankruptcy protection. The latter, he said, was "unacceptable." [29] At the end of 2011, Media General had $658 million in debt.[30] In October 2012, The Tampa Tribune and its associated print and digital products were acquired by Tampa Media Group, Inc., a new company formed by Revolution Capital Group.[31]

Major newspapers[edit]

Community newspapers[edit]

Alabama[edit]

Florida[edit]

North Carolina[edit]

South Carolina[edit]

  • The Morning News (Florence) Daily Newspaper for Florence and the Pee Dee Region
  • The News and Post (Lake City)  – Weekly
  • The Marion Star (Marion) – Weekly
  • The Weekly Observer (Hemingway) – Weekly
  • The Hartsville Messenger  – Weekly

Virginia[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Callan, Kathleen (22 July 1996). "Media General Buys Park Acquisitions For $710 Million". Associated Press. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Schneider, Michael (8 December 1999). "Media Gen’l buys Spartan for $605 mil". Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Media General Announces Sale of WNEG in Toccoa, Ga., to University of Georgia Research Foundation" (Press release). Media General. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  4. ^ Media General, Young Broadcasting To Merge, TVNewsCheck, June 6, 2013.
  5. ^ [1] Archived November 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Setting The New Order At New Media General". TVNewsCheck. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  7. ^ TV Station Mega Merger: Media General, LIN Set $1.6 Billion Deal from Variety (March 21, 2014)
  8. ^ Media General acquiring LIN Media for $1.6 billion, Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Media Gen/LIN To Sell/Swap In Five Markets, TVNewsCheck, March 21, 2014.
  10. ^ http://www.tvnewscheck.com/article/78615/media-general-lin-sell-stations-in-5-markets
  11. ^ http://www.mediabistro.com/tvspy/media-general-and-lin-merger-approved-by-shareholders_b130680
  12. ^ http://www.fcc.gov/document/media-bureau-approves-lin-media-and-media-general-transaction
  13. ^ Media General Completes Merger With LIN Media, Press Release, Media General, Retrieved 19 December 2014
  14. ^ FCC Okays Media General/LIN Merger Broadcasting & Cable (12/12/2014)
  15. ^ Seyler, Dave (2015-07-15). "Media General v. Mediacom". Television Business Report. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  16. ^ Farrell, Mike (2015-07-15). "Media General Stations Go Dark on Mediacom". Multichannel News (NewBay Media). Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  17. ^ Eggerton, John (2015-07-30). "Mediacom, Media General Strike Retrans Deal". Broadcasting & Cable (NewBay Media). Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  18. ^ "Media General to Buy Meredith Corp. for $2.4 Billion". The Wall Street Journal. September 8, 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  19. ^ "Media General’s bid to acquire Meredith is dead: sources". New York Post. October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Meredith, Media General stand by deal despite report". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "Meredith Deal Said on Hold as Media General Assesses Nexstar Bid". Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  22. ^ Media General Rejects Nexstar’s $1.9B Offer, But Agrees To Talk - Deadline
  23. ^ "Nexstar-Media General: It's A Done Deal". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  24. ^ "Nexstar Clinches Deal to Acquire Media General". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  25. ^ "In the Matter of Media General Operations, Inc." (PDF). FCC. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  26. ^ "Media General Announces Sale of WTVQ-TV in Lexington, Ky., to Morris Network, Inc." (Press release). Media General. 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  27. ^ Deadline: "Media General Shares Soar After Warren Buffett Agrees To Buy Its Newspapers", May 17, 2012.
  28. ^ facebook. "New owner, era for The Times-Dispatch - Richmond Times-Dispatch: Business & Economic News". .timesdispatch.com. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  29. ^ facebook (2012-05-18). "Media General chairman: 'A very bittersweet day' - Richmond Times-Dispatch: Business & Economic News". .timesdispatch.com. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  30. ^ facebook (2012-03-21). "Media General gets 'some breathing room' with credit agreement amendment - Richmond Times-Dispatch: Business & Economic News". .timesdispatch.com. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  31. ^ ABC News: "The Tampa Tribune Sold to Private Equity Firm", October 8, 2012.

External links[edit]