Jason Elkin’s New Vision Televsion buys WIAT Birmingham, Ala., and KIMT Mason City, Iowa, for $35 million. Deal wraps up Media General’s four-station sell off.
Media General sold two television stations to New Vision Television on Tuesday, the same day it sold a third, WDEF Chattanooga, Tenn., to Morris Multimedia.
New Vision is buying WIAT Birmingham, Ala., and KIMT in Mason City, Iowa, both CBS affiliates, for a combined sales price of approximately $35 million.
Media General now has signed definitive agreements to sell all of the CBS stations that the company announced it planned to sell on April 6. Gross proceeds from the sales are approximately $130 million, plus working capital. In the aggregate, the transactions represent a multiple of 15 times 2004-05 average broadcast cash flow for the divested stations, according to Media General.
Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer of Media General, said, “We are delighted to have reached definitive agreements for the sale of these stations and expect to complete all the sales well within our original target of the end of this year. In addition, we will substantially exceed our original expectations of net proceeds available for debt repayment.
“Our four new NBC stations, which became part of Media General at the beginning of the third quarter, will contribute to meaningful Broadcast Division profit and segment cash flow growth in the third quarter. The contribution of the new stations will reflect strong political advertising revenues and the overall strength of the stations in their respective markets,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Morton said.
Jason Elkin, chairman and chief executive officer of New Vision, said, “WIAT and KIMT represent the first two stations of New Vision Television III, which we expect will expand to 10 to 12 stations over the next year. We expect that the third iteration of the New Vision franchise will be the largest and most successful yet.ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
WIAT was acquired by Media General in 1997 as part of the acquisition of a group of television stations and newspapers from the former Park Communications. The station began operations in
1965 and has approximately 75 employees. KIMT, which began operations in 1954, was acquired in 2000 from the former Spartan Communications and has approximately 60 employees.
With offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles, New Vision Television, which was originally incorporated in 1993, has owned and operated numerous television stations across the country. In addition to Elkin, its officers include John Heinen, president and chief operating officer, and Eric Simontis, chief financial officer.
New Vision said it “will continue to invest in the television industry and focus its attention on the acquisition and operation of major and medium-size market stations across the country with specific attention to stations with affiliate and geographic diversity.