Media General, Young Broadcasting Merge, New Co. Owns 30 TV Stations

Continuing a small wave of TV station acquisitions, Media General and New Young Broadcasting have announced an all-stock deal to merge.

The new company, to be called Media General, will own 30 stations in 27 markets, reaching 16.5 million homes -- about 14% of U.S. TV households. It is based in Richmond, Virginia.

Expected annual revenues are estimated at $605 million, with about $115 million coming from political advertising. Media General’s 2011-2012 average revenues were $320 million, and Young’s were $219 million.

Media General will now have about 11 CBS-affiliated stations, 9 NBC stations, 7 ABC outlets, and one Fox, CW and MNT each. Sixteen of the 30 stations are in top 75 U.S. markets.

The merger takes place a little more than a year after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought Media General’s newspapers.

Recently, the Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group made a number of deals, acquiring TV stations from groups Fisher Communications, Titan, Barrington and Cox Media.

J. Stewart Bryan III, chairman of Media General, stated: "The combination provides immediate accretion to free cash flow, a strong balance sheet, the opportunity to refinance debt at a much lower cost and attractive synergies."

Thomas J. Sullivan, executive chairman of New Young Broadcasting, added: “This merger is compelling on many levels and will create a company with valuable strategic assets, significant financial resources and a deep team of talented and experienced personnel."

"TV Signal" photo from Shutterstock.

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