Morris Multimedia pays $22 million for the CBS affiliate on ch. 12.
Media General Inc. announced today that it is selling its Chattanooga, Tenn., CBS affiliate WDEF to Morris Multimedia Inc. for approximately $22 million, subject to FCC approval.
On April 6, Media General announced that it would divest WDEF and three other CBS stations, KWCH in Wichita, Kan., WIAT in Birmingham, Ala., and KIMT in Mason City, Iowa, as part of its acquisition of four NBC stations, which the company completed on June 26. On July 28, Media General announced a definitive agreement to sell KWCH and its three satellite stations to Schurz Communications Inc.
Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer of Media General, said, “We are pleased to announce the second sales agreement of our announced plan to divest four CBS stations. Negotiations for the sale of WIAT and KIMT are underway. We continue to expect to conclude all of the sales by year-end.ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Charles H. Morris, chairman and chief executive officer of Morris Multimedia Inc., described the purchase as another component of the company’s long-term strategy. “The acquisition is an important strategic fit for our broadcast group, led by our president, Dean Hinson. Chattanooga is a city that has aggressively reinvested in itself, and the results have positioned it well for future growth. WDEF is a superior television station with a strong local presence, talented employees and a quality news product. We look forward to the opportunity to become the new owners of this station.ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
WDEF will be Morris’s second CBS affiliate. Right now, it owns four full-service stations, each affiliated with a different Big Four network:
- WMGT-TV Macon, GA (NBC, DMA 120)
- WCBI-TV Columbus-Tupelo-West Point, MS (CBS, DMA 132)
- WWAY Wilmington, NC (ABC, DMA 139)
- WXXV-TV Biloxi-Gulfport, MS (Fox, DMA 158)
WDEF was acquired by Media General in 1997 from the former Park Communications and has approximately 75 employees. The station has served the Chattanooga area since 1954 and was the first station in the market.