Parent Companies of Springfield-based TV Stations Announce Merger
SPRINGFIELD — Media General Inc., owner of NBC-affiliated WWLP 22 and the CW Springfield, has agreed to buy Meredith Corp., owner of WGGB abc 40, CBS 3 Springfield, and Fox 6, for about $2.4 billion in cash and stock.
The combined company, Meredith Media General, will be the third-largest local television station owner, initially with 88 television stations across 54 markets that reach 30% — approximately 34 million — of U.S. TV households. It anticipates annual revenue of $3 billion.
Stations in six markets, including Springfield, will be swapped or otherwise divested in order to address regulatory considerations. The other five such markets are Portland, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; Hartford-New Haven, Conn.; Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C. and Asheville, N.C.; and Mobile, Ala. and Pensacola, Fla.
“This merger creates greater opportunities for profitable growth than either company could achieve on its own,” said Media General Chairman J. Stewart Bryan III. “Importantly, shareholders of both companies will benefit from the upside potential of a diversified and strategically well-positioned media company with a strong financial profile and the ability to generate significant free cash flow.”
Added Meredith CEO Steve Lacy, “we are excited about the opportunity to create a powerful new multi-platform and diversified media company with significant operations on the local and national levels. This merger will create a strong and efficient company positioned to realize the significant earnings and cash flow potential of local broadcasting, leverage the unparalleled reach and rich content-creation capabilities of Meredith’s national brands, and capture the rapidly developing growth potential of the digital media space. It also positions Meredith Media General to deliver enhanced shareholder value and participate in future industry consolidation.”