Biz Briefs: Media General to Acquire Four NBCU Stations

Apr 10, 2006  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal and Media General said last Thursday they have reached a definitive agreement under which Media General will pay $600 million to acquire four NBCU-owned television stations. As part of the deal, Media General also announced that it will sell four CBS-affiliated stations in order to secure an approval of the NBCU deal from the Federal Communications Commission. The NBCU stations that Media General is acquiring are WNCN-TV in Raleigh, N.C. (market No. 29); WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio (32); WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Ala. (40); and WJAR-TV in Providence, R.I. (51). The sale price put the stations’ value at about 14 times 2004-05 cash flow, which is around where other station sales have been executed as well. To ensure the deal goes through, Media General said it hopes by year-end to sell CBS affiliates WIAT-TV in Birmingham; KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa; WDEF-TV in Chattanooga, Tenn.; and KWCH-TV in Wichita, Kan., which includes three satellite stations that carry KWCH’s signal-KBSD-TV, KBSH-TV and KBSL-TV. The sale comes as NBCU looks to improve the distribution of its Spanish-language network Telemundo, create more duopolies of NBC and Telemundo stations and concentrate on owning stations in areas experiencing rapid Hispanic population expansion.

America Online Unit Renamed ‘AOL’

Time Warner’s online unit, America Online, has officially changed its name to AOL, company executives said last week.

As part of the name change, the company said, AOL’s legal structure was also modified to a limited liability company from a corporation. The company also unveiled a new corporate logo. “Our company long ago accomplished the mission implied in our old name-we literally got America online,” said AOL Chairman and CEO Jonathan Miller. “Our new corporate identity better reflects our expanded mission-to make everyone’s online experience better.”