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Media General Seals Purchase of 4 NBC Stations

Jun 26, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Media General announced Monday it has completed its $600 million acquisition of four NBC stations: WNCN-TV in Raleigh, N.C. (the 29th-largest TV market in the country); WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio (market No. 32); WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Ala., (40); and WJAR-TV in Providence, R.I. (51).

The purchase boosts the number of Media General’s NBC affiliates to nine, making the group the network’s third-largest independently owned stable of affiliates.

According to Media General’s press release, the addition of the four stations will change the company’s profit mix from about 60 percent publishing and 40 percent broadcast to about 50-50.

“We have conservatively estimated operating synergies of $3 million annually by 2008,” Media General President and CEO Marshall Morton said in the release.

Media General is in the process of selling its CBS affiliates in Wichita, Kan. (including that station’s three satellite transmitters); Birmingham; Mason City, Iowa; and Chattanooga, Tenn. “We expect to complete the sale of all the stations by the end of the year,” Mr. Morton said.

As part of the acquisition of the NBC stations, Media General was granted a six-month duopoly waiver in Birmingham by the Federal Communications Commission, and the company has entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice to divest its CBS affiliate there within six months.