April 06, 2006

Local Media Shakeup

In a follow up to an entry from back in January about the sale of the local NBC affiliate, this seems to be sorta nteresting, at least to me--Media General to buy four NBC television stations

The Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Media General Inc. plans to buy four television stations from NBC Universal in an all-cash deal estimated at $600 million, the companies announced Thursday.

Media General, owner of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, will purchase WNCN in Raleigh, N.C.; WCMH in Columbus, Ohio; WVTM in Birmingham, Ala.; and WJAR in Providence, R.I.

Marshall N. Morton, chief executive officer of Richmond-based Media General, said the new stations will build on the company's strengths in the Southeast and will allow the firm to capitalize on growing big markets outside its stronghold.

"The NBC properties we are purchasing are strong stations in cities with attractive growth prospects," Morton said in a statement. [...]

To abide by FCC regulations, Media General must sell its CBS affiliate in Birmingham. To help pay for the acquisitions, the company also plans to sell CBS affiliates WDEF in Chattanooga, Tenn.; KWCH in Wichita, Kan.; and KIMT in Mason City, Iowa.

Those affiliates will likely be sold by the year's end. [...]

Interesting, in that the local CBS affiliate here in town, WIAT, has been a perennial ratings bottom-dweller, especially in the local news market dominated by the NBC and Fox affiliates.

I'm curious to see who might be interested in buying it--you never know, there might be a disgraced former CEO who might decide he needs a bigger signal to reach more lost souls.

Stay tuned.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 6, 2006 09:14 AM