The Media General-LIN Media agreement, announced in March, required certain market divestments to satisfy Federal Communications Commission regulations prohibiting media companies from owning more than one station in a market. According a statement, in order to complete the transaction, authorities required divesture of stations in five markets, including Providence-New Bedford; Birmingham, Ala.; Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla.; Green Bay-Appleton, Wis.; and Savannah, Ga.
The companies believe that no other market divestitures will be required.
Media General said that it will sell WJAR to Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair will also acquire LIN Media’s FOX and CW affiliates in the Green Bay-Appleton, Wis., market (WLUK-TV and WCWF-TV, respectively).
Media General will acquire Sinclair’s FOX and CW affiliates in the Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colo., market (KXRM-TV and KXTU-LD, respectively), and Sinclair’s MyNetworkTV affiliate in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, Fla. market.
Sinclair will also acquire certain assets of WTGS-TV, the FOX affiliate in the Savannah, GA market, and the rights to acquire the principal assets of WTGS-TV from WTGS Television LLC.
According to the statement, New York-based Hearst Corp. will acquire Media General’s NBC affiliate in the Birmingham, Ala., market (WVTM-TV) and LIN Media’s ABC affiliate in the Savannah, Ga., market (WJCL-TV).
Iowa-based Meredith Corp. will acquire LIN Media’s FOX affiliate in the Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla., market (WALA-TV).
Financial details of the transactions were not immediately available.
Upon closing of the transactions, the combined Media General and LIN Media will own and operate or service 71 stations across 48 markets, reaching 27.6 million – or 24 percent— of U.S. television households. The companies said in the statement that they expect to realize combination run-rate synergies of $70 million in three years with approximately one-half of that amount realized by the end of the first year following the completion of the transaction.
In March 2014, Media General Inc. agreed to acquire Providence-based LIN Media LLC in a transaction valued at about $1.6 billion.