Media General President-CEO Vincent L. Sadusky: “We launched the new year as a newly merged company delivering record first quarter results. On a comparable basis to the prior year, despite the absence of political and Olympic advertising, net revenues increased 3% to $297 million and adjusted EBITDA grew by 7% to $72 million.
The daily hour-long entertainment news and variety show from Media General’s BiteSize TV, which got a summer test run last year, returns to weekday syndication on Sept. 14 on Fox and Media General stations.
The broadcaster will use CRM and sales tools expand business at its 71 TV stations in 48 markets.
Soohyung Kim, the hedge fund manager who led the $1.6 billion merger of Media General and LIN Media, has rescued RadioShack from liquidation and is now implementing a turnaround plan that entails reducing the the number of outlets and turning the remaining ones into electronics convenience stores.
Former Turner Broadcasting ad sales chief Julio Marenghi will be responsible for the development and execution of all advertising sales plans for Media General’s 71 television stations in 48 U.S. markets.
The company said it expects to fund the share repurchase by using the approximately $120 million of cash proceeds from the sale of WJAR Providence, R.I.
Newsy Ramps Up For 24/7 News
Stations from groups including Fox O&Os, Sinclair, Hearst, Cox and others will air the new show from NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution this fall. The show will be co-hosted by WNBC New York contributor Ben Aaron and Bad Girls Club reality star Tanisha Thomas.
With 12 days of LIN and barely a full year of Young numbers included in 4Q and year-end results, Media General’s been tweaking historical numbers in an effort to give analysts an apples-to-apples comparison and enable them to build forecast models. For some analysts, including Wells Fargo’s Marci Ryvicker, the numbers aren’t adding up.
“Our strong results were primarily driven by political advertising revenues, higher pay-TV subscriber fees and continued growth in digital revenues,” says CEO Vincent Sadusky. Pro forma results assume Media General owned Young and LIN for all of 2013 and 2014.
The combination of the financial acumen of hedge-fund investor Soohyung Kim and the operational expertise of CEO Vincent Sadusky is transforming an old media firm into a forward-looking TV broadcaster. With its acquisition of LIN’s stations and digital group, Kim says the new Media General is “positioning the company to meet change from the balls of our feet, not from the heels. We believe that broadcast television can be a better business than it has been in the past.” Pictured above is the company’s Richmond, Va., headquarters.
The $86 million buy of the Fox affiliate from Media General was part of a divestiture deal involved in obtaining federal regulatory approval of Media General’s merger with LIN Media.
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.”
Richmond-based Media General Inc.’s $1.6 billion merger with LIN Media should be completed at the end of this week after receiving the go-ahead from the FCC on Friday. The deal, announced in March, creates one of the nation’s largest broadcast TV groups, which will own and operate or service 71 stations in 48 U.S. markets. The new Media General will reach 27.5 million, or 23%, of U.S. television households.
The increase to $160.2 million comes despite a decline in a number of national ad categories including auto. The boost was driven by political, retrans and digital sales.
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.
Board of directors and executive officers are appointed to lead the company post-merger.
An analysis from Wells Fargo’s Marci Ryvicker says that Sinclair, Nexstar and Media General have the highest median spectrum values as a percentage of enterprise value at 52%, 49% and 27%, respectively.
Soohyung Kim, a 39-year-old hedge fund manager, has leveraged a $100 million investment in bankrupt Young Broadcasting into a $1.6 billion merger that will combine Media General and LIN Media and effectively put him in control of the nation’s eighth largest TV station group
The “comprehensive” long-term deal covers 12 stations, many No. 1 in their 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.
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.
The VP-GM of Media General’s NBC affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, is stepping down on Dec. 31 after 35 years at Media General and 40 in broadcast journalism.
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.
The increase to $154.1 million comes despite a 3.1% drop in core advertising from a year ago. The boost was driven by political, retrans and digital sales.
The 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.
The purchase of the Harrisburg, Pa., ABC affiliiate from Sinclair is part of Sinclair’s promise to the FCC to smooth the way for approval of Sinclair’s purchase of all of Allbritton’s stations.
Putting photos on Facebook posts and linking to stories in tweets may seem like Intro to Social Media for a newsroom, but Media General is finding that giving staffers a bit of formal training in those kind of site-specific maneuvers is paying off big.
James F. Woodward, SVP-finance and chief financial officer of Media General Inc., on Tuesday received the Distinguished CFO Award at the annual conference of the Media Financial Management Association (MFM) in Miami. Woodward, who became Media General’s chief financial officer in 2011, has been responsible for leading the company’s significant financing and M&A initiatives of […]
Media General CEO George Mahoney told analysts today that “we’re pleased with the way the Aereo argument went. It’s terrific that the Justice Department came in on the side of broadcasters. We came away from the argument feeling better than we had and we went in feeling pretty good.”
The gain, coming after the company’s merger with Young Broadcasting, reflects growth in all of its revenue categories. Automotive and telecommunications advertising increased 20% and 50%, respectively.
A month after announcing a $2.6 billion merger with Lin Media, Media General is cutting 45 corporate and shared services jobs. In an email sent to staffers, CEO George Mahoney says the cuts are meant to decentralize operations and give greater control at the local level. “It’s important that we have a structure that allows us to focus increasingly at the local, station level, closer to the customer, so that we can be nimble and responsive to our communities,” Mahoney writes.
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.
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.
The group owner, coming off its purchase of Young Broadcasting last year, expects more of the same this year, according to CEO George Mahoney. After a solid fourth quarter, the new Media General is projecting a strong start for 2014 and a strong year overall even though it faces increased costs in part as a result of the merger.
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.
Andy Lobred, Media General’s VP of digital media, is on a mission to boost digital to 10% of his company’s overall revenue. His solution: Staffing stations with digital-only sellers and diversifying digital products. In an interview with NetNewsCheck, Lobred explains how he holds on to effective digital sellers, weighs in on programmatic buying and talks about expanding digital marketing services business into all of its markets.
Richmond, Va.-based Media Genera yesterday reached a settlement with Charter Communications to renew their retransmission consent agreement. Both companies had agreed to extend the agreement, which was set to expire Dec. 31, until midnight on Thursday. The resolution prevented a disruption in service just before Media General’s stations were set to go dark.
CEO George Mahoney says he expects the revenue stream to increase by a third this year and next. He also sees a strong year in 2014 for political advertising money.
Media General and Dish Network announced Saturday that they have reached an agreement for carriage of Media General’s television stations in 17 markets. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.