×

TV Station Mega Merger: Media General Sets $2.4 Billion Acquisition of Meredith Corp.

Media General has set a $2.4 billion acquisition of Meredith Corp., creating a TV station colossus that will rank as the nation’s third-largest owner of network affiliates.

The cash and stock deal was unveiled Tuesday. Meredith Corp. CEO Steve Lacy will become CEO of the combined Meredith Media General entity, with Media General chairman J. Stewart Bryan III remaining in the same role. The deal is expected to close next June.

Meredith Media General will own 88 stations in 54 markets — including 40 Big Four network affils in top 75 markets. It’s projected to have earnings of more than $900 million on revenue of more than $3 billion. The companies expect to squeeze out $80 million in cost savings within the first two years.

The combination of Meredith and Media General continues the consolidation trend among TV stations that has led to handful of mega groups wielding renewed clout with networks and MVPD operators. But it comes at a time of business transition for local TV station owners, which has spurred broadcasters such as Tribune and Sinclair Broadcast Group to focus on grabbing market share through acquisitions.

Media General has been among the most aggressive station buyers in recent years, growing its profile dramatically in the TV biz. Last year it set a $1.6 billion deal for LIN Television, which grew the combined company to 74 TV stations. The company said it expects to sell or swap TV stations in six mid-sized markets, including Portland, Ore., and Nashville, to comply with FCC station ownership limits.

The Meredith deal also brings publishing assets including Better Homes and Gardens.

Lacy said the company would still be in the market for more TV stations.

“We are excited about the opportunity to create a powerful new multiplatform and diversified media company with significant operations on the local and national levels. This merger will create a strong and efficient company positioned to realize the significant earnings and cash flow potential of local broadcasting; leverage the unparalleled reach and rich content-creation capabilities of Meredith’s national brands; and capture the rapidly developing growth potential of the digital media space,” Lacy said. “It also positions Meredith Media General to deliver enhanced shareholder value and participate in future industry consolidation.”

Said Bryan: “This merger creates greater opportunities for profitable growth than either company could achieve on its own.”

 

More TV

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Dish Faces Multiple Outages as Carriage Contracts Come Due

    Satellite-broadcaster Dish is known in the media industry as a hard bargainer when carriage contracts come up for renewal. HBO hasn’t been available on the service since November. Now, other TV networks face a similar prospect. Unless Dish and certain content suppliers reach new terms by Monday evening, subscribers who use several cable networks currently [...]

  • Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard

    'Star Trek: Picard' to Feature Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan

    “Star Trek: Picard” is bringing back some familiar faces. During the show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel on Saturday, it was revealed that Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, and Jeri Ryan would reprising their roles from “Next Generation” and “Voyager” in Ryan’s case. Jonathan Del Arco will also appear, likely reprising his role as the [...]

  • The Simpsons Homer Live

    'The Simpsons' Will Finally Release Season 19 on DVD, Helping Out Purist Collectors

    “The Simpsons” DVD collectors who also happen to be obsessive-compulsive can rest a little easier: You’ll finally be able to fill in that missing Season 19. Executive producer Al Jean revealed on Saturday that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will finally release the 19th season of “The Simpsons” on DVD this December 3, two years [...]

  • Star Trek Lower Decks Cast

    'Star Trek: Lower Decks' Sets Main Cast

    The upcoming animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks” has announced its main voice cast. Tawny Newsome, Noël Wells, and Eugene Cordero will all star in the series. As Variety exclusively reported, Jack Quaid has also been cast as Ensign Brad Boimler. As previously announced, the series will focus on the support crew serving on one of [...]

  • Jack Quaid

    'Star Trek: Lower Decks' Casts Jack Quaid (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jack Quaid has joined the voice cast of the upcoming animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks” at CBS All Access, Variety has learned exclusively. As previously announced, the series will focus on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships. Quaid will voice the character of Ensign Brad Boimler. Described as a [...]

  • Batwoman Arrow

    'Batwoman' Executive Producers Address Ruby Rose's Absence at Comic-Con

    What’s a “Batwoman” panel without Batwoman? The CW showed the pilot for its upcoming DC series at Comic-Con to much fan excitement, however, the absence of leading star Ruby Rose was conspicuous. Rose, who plays the titular lesbian superhero, was scheduled to headline the panel but announced just a couple days before the panel via [...]

  • The official logo of STAR TREK:

    'Star Trek: Discovery' Casts David Ajala for Season 3, ‘Short Treks’ to Return

    “Star Trek: Discovery” Season 3 has made an addition to its cast. David Ajala has joined the show in a series regular role. The announcement was made at the show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel on Saturday. Ajala will play a new character named Cleveland Booker, or Book. “Book is going to be a character that breaks [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content