Media General, Young Now Officially One

As they said they would last week in the wake FCC approval, Media General and Young Broadcasting closed on their merger Tuesday. The combination creates a mega-group with 31 stations operating in 28 markets, reaching 16.5 million, or 14%, of U.S. TV households. On the pro forma basis, the merged company had 2012 revenues of $605 million.

Media General, Young Deal Set To Close Tues.

Media General and Young announced the merger last June and the FCC OK’d it this afternoon. The combination creates a mega-group with 30 stations operating in 27 markets, reaching 16.5 million, or 14%, of U.S. TV households. On the pro forma basis, the merged company had 2012 revenues of $605 million, including approximately $115 million of political revenue.

Media General Shareholders OK Young Merger

Shareholders voted to approve the merger announced in June. The merged company will retain the Media General name, continue to be traded on the NYSE and will remain headquartered in Richmond, Va.

EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK FALL 2013

Station Cloud Forecast Is Clearing

A growing number of stations and station groups seem finally ready to entrust critical functions to cloud-based solutions.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

CMS Vendors Vie On Changing Terrain

Local newspapers and broadcasters today are seeking content management systems that are faster and more complex than ever before. And while vendors are constantly developing new products to keep up with evolving demands, the industry is facing contraction. “There are just too many players, and nobody is really big enough to have any control,” says Internet Broadcasting’s Elmer Baldwin. “There are some that just aren’t going to survive.” Part two of a three-part special report. Read part one here

CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

For Media Firms, CMS World Gets Complex

Content management systems serving the local media industry have taken a quantum leap forward, and choosing the right CMS has become more complicated than ever. Media companies have some difficult choices: select a system from a vendor, build one in-house or use an open-source system. Ron Stitt, VP of digital media at Fox Television Stations: “The pace of development is still constantly accelerating, and the landscape is incredibly complex when you factor in not just the front end but also the underlying platforms, devices, operating systems, display formats, distribution schemes and advertising/tracking requirements.” Part one of a three-part special report. Read the full report here.

DMA 115

Spartan Blows Whistle On Young Lansing SSA

The owner of WHTV Lansing, Mich., says the merger between Media General and Young Broadcasting shouldn’t be approved until the commission determines that management agreements involving Young in Lansing pass muster.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Applause For Media General’s Young Merger

Industry analysts think the move, which will give Media General 30 network affiliates across 27 markets reaching 14% of U.S. TV households, makes a lot of sense. “It’s nothing short of a great deal,” says Barry Lucas, SVP-research at Gabelli & Co. “It’s a home run for them.”

Media General, Young Broadcasting To Merge

The combined company will own or operate 30 network-affiliated TV stations across 27 markets reaching 14% of U.S. TV households.

Multiplatform Workflow Lets Young Get News Out Faster

The broadcaster has developed a server-based platform where everyone from field reporters to the evening anchor can access, edit and publish a story to any platform.

Young President McDermott Named CEO

Deborah McDermott’s new title is in addition to that of president of the station group, which she will retain.

DMA 57

Viki Regan New VP-GM Of WRIC Richmond

Former WEWS Cleveland GM Viki Regan returns to local management at Young Broadcasting’s Richmond station.

DMA 5

Mark Antonitis New VP-GM Of KTXD Dallas

The former KRON San Francisco GM heads to Big D for “the kind of challenge I’ve been preparing for my entire career.”

Young Names Jenny Renfrow VP Of HR

The ormer BMI human resources executive joins the station group today.

DMA 116

Young Piecing Together Triopoly In Lansing

Young Broadcasting, which is operating a CBS-MNT duopoly in Lansing, Mich., will soon make it a triopoly. It has a deal to take over the operation of WLAJ just as soon as Shield Media completes its purchase of the ABC affiliate from Sinclair for $14.4 million. Young and Shield worked together to create a duopoly for Young earlier his year in Albany, N.Y.

Hedge Fund Taking Control Of Young Bcstg.

New York-based Standard General has asked the FCC to approve its acqusition of a majority stake in the station group, which emerged from Chapter 11 in 2010. It operates 11 stations, including KRON San Francisco.

Young Ups Peterson To Station Operations VP

Bob Peterson, the former GM of Young’s WRIC Richmond, Va., will head operations for the group.

Young Names Jim Carr VP In Digital Push

The former digital media director at KTVK Phoenix is tapped to fill the newly created post of VP, digital media at Young Broadcasting.

Young To Air Live Well In Seven Markets

The lifestyle diginet adds WKRN Nashville, WBAY Green Bay, Wis.; KLFY Lafayette, La.; WLNS Lansing, Mich.; WRIC Richmond, Va., WATE Knoxville, Tenn.; and WTEN Albany, N.Y.

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON BUSINESS

More Sellers Than Buyers In Station Market

With four significant TV station group deals within the past year, there is a growing number of groups up for sale. But right now few buyers are willing to pay the multiples that the sellers are demanding. “Owners are either going to have to take lower prices and come out under water or hold stations for another two years,” says broker Larry Patrick.

Young CEO Tony Cassara Resigns

The long-time broadcast exec  tells the Young Broadcasting board that he wants to get into station ownership. Deb McDermott remains as president as the board looks for his successor.

TECH ONE ON ONE

Young: Out With Old, In With New–Gear

Craig Porter, Young Broadcasting’s engineering VP, has spent $25 million modernizing the group’s 10 stations. First he took care of news production, moving to all-HD. Now master control is being transformed into a file-based workflow for commercials and programming.

Young Broadcasting Selects Crispin Automation

Young Broadcasting has selected Crispin as its master control automation and asset management solutions partner for nine of its stations’ master control facilities. The upgraded master control facilities will include Crispin’s newest products for managing file-based workflows such as Digital Transfer Agent and DigiPrep, along with Omneon video servers, Miranda graphics and routing, and Elemental […]

DMA 6

Young To Sell KRON San Francisco Building

Young Broadcasting is looking to sell its longtime KRON building at 1001 Van Ness in San Francisco and move to a smaller but more modern digital facility elsewhere in the Bay Area.

TECH SPOTLIGHT

WKRN, WZTV Making Nashville All-HD Town

They are the market’s final stations to convert their news operations to high def. Sinclair’s WZTV will feature an interactive set, while Young’s WKRN has HD capability from the field ready to go. And Nashville’s other news producers — WSMV and WTVF — aren’t resting on their laurels either, adding new sets, graphics, file-based editing systems and news automation to stay cutting edge.

For Sale: Young Broadcasting For Just $350M

A year out of bankruptcy, the 10-station group is financially healthy and the new owners believe it’s a good time to sell, what with a record year for political advertising expected in 2012. Observers say the group could fetch eight times blended 2011-12 cash flow or as much as $350 million.

DMA 99

Kenneth M. Freedman Named GM Of KWQC

Young Broadcasting picks the TV sales veteran to run its NBC affiliate in Davenport, Iowa.

It’s Official: Tony Cassara To Head Young

The longtime television executive and board member succeeds Vincent Young. Cassara’s appointment completes a recent reorganization of the company and the senior management team. Deborah McDermott remains as president, with all 10 stations reporting to her. In addition, Tom Sullivan has been elected board chair.

Vince Young Exits Young Broadcasting

Vince Young has stepped down from his role as non-executive chairman of Young Broadcasting. His departure from the company that bears his family name was, in part, the result of his alignment with the group that unsuccessfully sought to have its bankruptcy reorganization plan imposed.

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON BUSINESS

Who’s Really Running Young Broadcasting?

It turns out it’s broadcast veteran Tony Cassara (left) along with other New Young’s board members Tom Sullivan, Sheldon Galloway and Kevin Shea. The board gets an assist from Young President Deborah McDermott who oversees KRON San Francisco, WATE Knoxville, Tenn., and WLNS Lansing, Mich. Cassara says the $2.2 million annual management contract with Gray Television is really an advisory agreement. “They do not manage our stations,” Cassara says. “The general managers of those seven stations report to the board.”

Cox To Rep Young’s 10 Stations

TV rep firm Adam Young Inc., to cease operations at the end of January. A new Cox sales team will be based in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

DMA 57

Young Names Alfond GM At WTEN

Andrew Alfond is the new GM at Young Broadcasting’s ABc affiliate in Albany, N.Y. He succeeds Mike Sechrist, who has been interim GM for almost two years.