Media General-LIN Media Merger Closes

Media General said today that it has closed on its merger with LIN Media and the associated transactions. Media General’s President-CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said: “We are pleased to have finalized the merger transaction that delivers numerous strategic and financial benefits, including a strong balance sheet, significant free cash flow, enhanced scale and a diverse geographic footprint that will provide important opportunities to continue growing our business. We look forward to a smooth integration, capitalizing on our new, combined strength and achieving our synergy goals.”

QUARTERLY REPORT

LIN 3Q Revenue Rises 18% To $192 Million

Local revenues, which include net local advertising revenues, retransmission consent fee revenues and TV station website revenues, increased 6% to $111.9 million compared to $105.5 million in the third quarter of 2013.

DOJ OKs Media General-LIN After Divestitures

Media General has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy LIN Media after agreeing to divest seven television stations in five markets, the Justice Department said on Thursday. The markets are Providence, R.I.; Savannah, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Mobile, Ala.; and Green Bay, Wis. The deal was valued at $1.6 billion when it was announced in March.

Shareholders OK Media General-LIN Merger

Board of directors and executive officers are appointed to lead the company post-merger.

Mediacom, LIN Agree To Retrans Renewal

Mediacom Communications announced  this morning that it has struck a new retransmission consent deal with LIN Media. No terms were disclosed. A 2011 standoff in retrans negotiations between the companies resulted in a six-week blackout. So far this year, Mediacomm has also renewed retrans agreements with ABC and Fox.

LIN And CBS Renew Affiliations In 10 Markets

After losing its affiliation in Indianapolis, the station group reups in Birmingham, Ala.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Providence, R.I.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Terre Haute, Ind.; Mason City, Iowa; Portland, Ore.; Youngstown, Ohio; and Lafayette, Ind.

JESSELL AT LARGE

For WISH, Life After CBS Should Be News

With the upcoming loss of its CBS affiliation because it wouldn’t meet the network’s reverse comp demands, LIN’s WISH Indianapolis has to find new programming starting next year. LIN has put together a team with experience at indie operations. Whatever they come up with, a big factor needs to be more and better local news, a tall order in a market that already produces a lot of newscasts, but one that the Peabody-winning WISH should be able to handle.

DMA 26 (INDIANAPOLIS)

LIN Studying Programming Options For WISH

The broadcaster has put together a team to figure out what to do when it loses its CBS affiliation at the end of the year. No matter what, CEO Vince Sadusky says it’s “committed to localism, which is a core part of our values and strategies.”

Media General, LIN Sell Stations In 5 Markets

The two companies say the deals should satisfy regulatory requirements related to their pending merger. As part of the arrangements, Media General is buying two stations in Colorado Springs and one in Tampa from Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Media General Drops Per-Share Price For LIN

The change from $27.82 a share to $25.97 follows the loss of CBS affiliation for LIN’s WISH Indianapolis. Given that LIN has 55.6 million shares outstanding, the per-price reduction shaves $103 million off the total value of the deal.

UPDATED 5:01 P.M. ET

WTTV Move Shows CBS Testing The Market

In moving its Indianapolis affiliation from LIN to Tribune, CBS is sending the message that “if the incumbent doesn’t meet the value that we perceive it to be, we will certainly test the marketplace,” says CBS’s Ray Hopkins.

EARNINGS CALL

LIN, Media General Prep For Station Spinoffs

During quarterly earnings conference calls this morning, CEOs of both companies acknowledged it’s tough deciding which stations to divest to clear the way for their proposed merger. But decisions will have to come soon. “This will be a third-quarter kind of event for us,” said George Mahoney, president-CEO of Media General.

QUARTERLY REPORT

LIN 2Q Revenue Climbs 15% To $188.8 Million

Local revenues, which include net local advertising revenues, retransmission consent fee revenues and TV station website revenues, increased 10% to $117.3 million compared to $107.1 million in the second quarter of 2013.

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON BUSINESS

Setting The New Order At New Media General

SaduskyThe leadership of Vincent Sadusky was key to winning approval of the merger of LIN Media into Media General, which is expected to close late this year or early in 2015. He will bring in a leadership team, displacing many longtime LIN executives. IBut it’s still unclear what’s in store for two top TV execs, Media General’s Deb McDermott and LIN’s Jay Howell, since their current jobs overlap.

DMA 22

Adrienne Roark New GM Of KOIN Portland

The former news director at KTVT Dallas will take over LIN’s CBS affiliate in Oregon on June 23.

QUARTERLY REPORT

LIN 1Q Revenue Climbs 18% To $166M

Local revenues, which include net local advertising revenues, retransmission consent fee revenues and TV station website revenues, increased 9% to $108.1 million, national revenue rose 2% to $30 million, digital revenues grew 171% to $24.5 million.

Media Gen/LIN To Sell Or Swap In 5 Markets

Media General and LIN have pledged to sell or swap stations in five markets to comply with FCC ownership rules. The companies, which announced their $1.6 million merger Friday morning, have overlapping stations in Providence, Savannah, Birmingham, Mobile and Green Bay.

UPDATED 2:05 P.M. ET

Media General, LIN Merging In $1.6B Deal

The parties say the combination will create the second-largest pure-play TV station group with 74 stations in 46 markets, reaching 23% of TV homes. LIN shareholders are receiving $27.82 per share in Media General stock or cash. LIN CEO Vincent Sadusky (left) will become CEO of Media General once it has absorbed LIN.

LIN Media’s Jenkins Named To ATSC Board

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON STATION TRADING

Station Sales: Slow, But Big Deals Possible

Despite speed bumps from the FCC (plans to kill JSAs and SSAs) and Aereo, many industry observers think the station trading market will heat up, with speculation that possible players include not only the usual suspects (Sinclair and Nexstar) but also Post-Newsweek, LIN, Meredith, Media General, Raycom and Sunbeam.

LIN Taps Hoffner To Lead Federated Media

Jordan Hoffner, a veteran of digital video efforts at Google, YouTube, NBC Universal and IAC’s Electus, will lead LIN’s newly acquired digital content and conversational marketing company, Federated Media.

TECH SPOTLIGHT

Sinclair Developing Next-Gen TV Standard

Spearheaded by Mark Aitken, Sinclair’s VP of advanced technology, the new “broadcast-centric”  transmission standard is being designed to address an issue Sinclair feels is being left out of ATSC’s efforts: the ability to reach viewers on their mobile devices. “ATSC 3.0 ought to be whatever broadcasters want it to be,” Aitken says. “This process should be about bringing broadcasters to the table for a solution, rather than having it dictated to them by TV set manufacturers.”

Hubbard Jumps From Petry To CoxReps

Petry has been losing a steady stream of clients due to station consolidation and to the periodic raids that reps stage on each other’s business. Last month, news broke that Petry had lost its biggest client, LIN Media, which is going to Katz Television, as well as the Journal Broadcast Group.

Petry Sustains Another Blow: LIN Leaves

Just days after news that Petry Media had lost Journal Broadcast to Katz Television comes reports that LIN Media is taking its rep business elsewhere. No offfical word yet from Petry or LIN.

 

QUARTERLY REPORT

LIN Media 3Q Net Revenue Climbs

Local revenues, which include net local advertising revenues, retransmission consent fee revenues and TV station website revenues, increased 44% to $105.5 million, while national revenue rose 26% to $32.8 million.

NEWS ANALYSIS BY PRICE COLMAN

To Some, Selling Spectum Could Makes Sense

For some group owners, especially those with multiple stations in major markets, the FCC’s upcoming incentive auction is starting to look like an opportunity to reap a cash windfall. Both LIN and Meredith say they’re considering participating. And for others like Ion and Univision, the financial rewards are very tempting.

COMMENTARY

TKTKTKTK

On Oct. 3, at an investors’ conference in Texas, LIN Media CEO Vince Sadusky and CTO Brett Jenkins acknowledged that the station group might sell some of its TV spectrum in the FCC’s planned incentive auction. It would be a way of turning Class A low-power stations and full-power duopoly stations into cash, Sadusky said. […]

LIN Media’s Head Of TV Retiring At Year’s End

After 30 years with the company, Scott Blumenthal, EVP television at LIN Media, is ready to retire. Jay Howell, LIN VP regional television, was named his successor. “I look forward to working with Jay and the rest of the Executive Team in a consultancy role and spending some much needed time with my family and golf game,” Blumenthal said.

DMA 69 (GREEN BAY, WISC.)

Rentrak Adds LIN Stations WCWF, WLUK

The multi-year local TV ratings contract with the Fox and CW affiliated stations expands Rentrak’s partnership with LIN Media.

DMA 92 (SAVANNAH, GA)

WJCL Unveils New Brand ‘Working For You’

The new brand includes a new slogan and a fresh news set design that relies on the rich history of Savannah, Ga. “Our focus in developing the new brand was to leverage our multiple platform approach to content delivery with a design that would make our viewers feel connected to our newscasts,” says Les Vann, president and GM of the LIN Media-owned station.

LIN Brings ‘Masstech’ Into Its Newsrooms

The station group is the first in the U.S. to integrate the asset management and archiving solution with its newsroom system. Masstech For News lets journalists access stories — text and video — within a station’s newsroom system, like AP ENPS and Avid iNews.

TECH SPOTLIGHT

Vendors Offer New Tools For Bonded Cellular

Now that bonded cellular technology has proved itself as an effective and reliable way to send back live video from the field, the top vendors have begun supplying software for managing and sharing all the incoming feeds.“Broadcasters have gotten over that bonded cellular hump,” says Ronen Artman, VP marketing at LiveU. “Now they want to take control of their devices.”

TVU Grid 2.0 Adds Multiplatform Features

TVU Networks’ IP-based video switching, routing and distribution solution is updated with a slew of features, including the ability to deliver a return video feed directly to a bonded cellular TVU Pack and to encode video streams to multiple formats.

LIN Debuts Social Media Management System

HYFN8 allows marketers to listen and react to online consumer behavior in real-time, giving them the intelligence and monetization tools to maximize social media ROI.

QUARTERLY REPORT

LIN Media 2Q Revenue Climbs 36%

Local revenues, which include net local advertising revenues, retransmission consent fee revenues and TV station website revenues, increased 44% to $107.1 million, while national revenue rose 28% to $32.6 million.

LIN Media Names Kimberly Davis HR VP

LIN Media today appointed Kimberly Davis vice president human resources. Davis succeeds Daniel Donohue, who is retiring, effective July 5, after a decade at the company. As a member of the company’s executive management team, Davis will be responsible for developing and executing strategic employee initiatives that support the company’s overall business plan and strategy. […]

EARNINGS CALL

Auto Advertising Rebound In Low Gear At LIN

In the first quarter, auto advertising was off 2% due to a 15% shortall in local dealer spending and that dragged total core revenue down 2.4%.”Our markets 50-100 were impacted the most by the decline in auto,” said TV EVP Scott Blumenthal. “It is no coincidence that many of those markets are facing ongoing economic challenges.”

TECH ONE ON ONE

LIN’s Jenkins And His Busy Tech Agenda

As LIN Media’s chief tech, Brett Jenkins has numerous balls in the air. First there’s continuing the HD transition at the group’s growing portfolio of stations. Next, there’s his work on ATSC that is planning TV’s next-generation standards. And then there’s also automation, mobile DTV, streaming and keeping an eye on the emerging 4K technology.

LIN Makes Its Second Digital Buy In A Week

Following on its April 4 investment in digital agency HYFN, it is buying a majority interest in Los Angeles-headquartered ad buying/optimization firm Dedicated Media.

LIN Acquires Majority Ownership In HYFN

It expands its digital media portfolio with the social and mobile marketing solutions company.