Jump to content

Welcome, Guest!

Sign In or Create my Account to gain full access to our forums. By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

CircleSeven

LIN is merging with Media General

Recommended Posts

 

In Providence, Meredith taking on the WPRI/WNAC duopoly makes most sense, it would also build them a cluster in southern New England as well. Again, WNAC is shell bait regardless. If WJAR goes, then Hearst makes most sense, since they have a large cluster in New England which could be added on to.

 

Aren't Boston and Providence too close together geographically for Hearst to do that, though?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts:

 

Birmingham: MG keeps WIAT, sells WVTM. If MG could redo 2006 with hindsight it would have taken WIAT and onsold WVTM. I am suspecting that a buyer into Birmingham may have interest in combining WVTM with WABM.

Green Bay: Keeps WLUK/WCWF, sells WBAY. The Packers. Enough said.

Mobile: Keeps WALA/WFNA, sells WKRG. Duopoly opportunity, and it's legal. Like some have already said Raycom should be interested in this one.

Providence: Keeps WJAR, sells WPRI. The WNAC LMA is from 1996 and can be grandfathered to another operator (the licensee is Super Towers, LLC).

Savannah: Keeps WSAV, sells WJCL/WTGS. The latter is a JSA-SSA that may need to be restructured in any event; there are several other JSA-SSAs in non-conflicting markets (Topeka, Youngstown, Albuquerque) of interest.

 

I have another question about divestitures. LIN owns several legal duopolies of stations that probably are now Top-4 (WAVY/WVBT, KRQE/KASA). Would there be any impediment to the merged Media General keeping those station clusters?

 

 

Aren't Boston and Providence too close together geographically for Hearst to do that, though?

 

Adjacent markets don't matter, not since the days when the FCC stopped caring about overlapping signal contours. Sinclair owns in Dayton and Columbus, for instance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of the 5 conflicts, the Media General station history:

 

* 1 was from the Young acquisition in 2013

* 2 were from the NBC acquisition in 2007

* 1 was from the Spartan acquisition in 2000 (found it indeed it was an ex-Spartan station and not a legacy station)

* 1 was traded from Raycom when they acquired WTOC in 1997 and were forced to sell WTVR at the same time

 

Of the 5 markets, the LIN station history:

 

* 2 were from the New Vision acquisitions in 2012 (one owned by Media General before 2007)

* 2 were from the Savoy acquisitions in 2005

* 1 was from the Sunrise merger in 2002

 

I would think the longer-tenured stations would be more likely to be kept for sure, so on that, WKRG and WSAV would be more likely to be kept by Media General (and they have higher ratings as well). Other factors come in as well - Green Bay football beats out news ratings so WBAY would likely go (Gray makes most sense unless someone buys them all outright). Birmingham and Providence are toss-ups.

 

One thought I think in Savannah - either for Media General (unlikely) or a buyer (more likely) - is could WTGS get a failing station waiver and become a legal duopoly station? Savannah is pretty small for four full-power commercial operations, especially when WTOC is the dominant station, and would likely get little or no attention otherwise. At a minimum, a news share agreement would be necessary there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TVNewsCheck now reports that Media General CEO George Mahoney told securities analysts that MG and LIN are going to sell some of the overlapping stations.

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, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Mobile, Ala.; and Green Bay, Wis.

http://www.tvnewscheck.com/article/74959/media-genlin-to-sellswap-in-five-markets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Birmingham would Lin TV/ MG deal want to keep WIAT CBS 42 which has moved up to #2 while NBC 13 #4 from the last ratings books I saw.

 

Very interesting how this is going to develop, because who would of thought MG+Young + LinTV...Who next to get in bed with this company?

 

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvspy/media-general-and-lin-media-announce-merger_b117789

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will be interesting to see what type of "ripple" effect this merger will ultimately have. Between this M&A and the ultimate decisions Sinclair makes over selling off/swapping some of their overlapping stations in the Albritton deal, we could see some more unexpected power plays as other companies (examples like Raycom, Gray, etc.) make swift decisions to buy, merge and the like. And some other surprising moves based out of greed.

 

I wouldn't be too shocked to see Gray swallowed over the next year or two as they have recently been spending to get all of their properties on the same platforms and more unified.

 

It will also be interesting to see what types of corporate structural changes Media General will make once the merger is complete, if any. Lin has typically allowed more local flexibility with its stations as far as marketing and on-air look/feel is concerned. This deal could ultimately deal a punch to some of the grx/music providers if they do decide to continue with the recent Media General (pre Lin merger) way of doing things.

 

This could also spell changes for MGFX or it could spell significant downsizing of local graphics departments should they continue to support the graphics hub operation. Considering Lin currently has a fairly-new corporate "Image and Brand" director who oversees the feel, look and sound of their stations, I look forward to seeing how all of this fits in with the existing setups that Media General has in place or if more of the Lin approach will find its way into the merged culture.

 

If I were to speculate, I'd say that Media General will probably have a little more of a Lin vibe than a Media General one before it's all said and done, considering that Vincent Sadusky will be the CEO of the combined company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In Birmingham would Lin TV/ MG deal want to keep WIAT CBS 42 which has moved up to #2 while NBC 13 #4 from the last ratings books I saw.

 

Very interesting how this is going to develop, because who would of thought MG+Young + LinTV...Who next to get in bed with this company?

 

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvspy/media-general-and-lin-media-announce-merger_b117789

 

Also keep in mind that most Alabama football games are on CBS. That makes the CBS affiliation extremely valuable in that market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Also keep in mind that most Alabama football games are on CBS. That makes the CBS affiliation extremely valuable in that market.

 

Alabama, Auburn and the entire SEC. Very good point: I'm sure that makes WIAT one of LIN's more producing stations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Alabama, Auburn and the entire SEC. Very good point: I'm sure that makes WIAT one of LIN's more producing stations.

 

Looks as if WIAT CBS 42 is at the beginning stages of overhauling their on-air appearance, judging by their weather page... OR it could be just a new generic weather template. I can't tell, but it's new either way. Just throwing an FYI nugget out there. I don't think it is worthy of creating a new thread at the moment until we know more.

 

Back to the topic at hand, imo CBS 42 is defintely much more attractive to MG now than when they sold it in the mid-2000's. Crazy how it's done a turn-around while NBC 13 has taken more of a plunge. Given that situation and then add in the Sinclair unknowns, and you can bet the Birmingham market is in for some nutty times, much like the affiliation and ownership changes of the mid 90's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Aren't Boston and Providence too close together geographically for Hearst to do that, though?

 

Yes, they are too close. Boston stations provide a "grade B" signal over Providence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgive me for being late to the party, I say WOW. I'm shocked. First Tribune owns WTVR here in Richmond. Then Media General (which owned WTVR for a short while in the '90's) now owns rival WRIC. WSET in the Lynchburg/Roanoke area is close to being owned by Sinclair (we're still waiting for the news). Tribune operates WTKR and WGNT in Hampton Roads under a SSA, but owned by Dreamcatcher. WVEC is now part of Gannett and now WAVY and WVBT are one step closer to becoming MG's third and fourth Virginia stations.

 

Man, what's next?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In Birmingham, I could see Meredith coming in for WIAT, or Scripps for WVTM, but not the other way around (due to networks they primarily hold).

 

In the case of Scripps, yes, but Meredith could take either one considering they have just one NBC affiliate in their portfolio (WSMV).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Birmingham would Lin TV/ MG deal want to keep WIAT CBS 42 which has moved up to #2 while NBC 13 #4 from the last ratings books I saw.

Who would have guessed five years ago that WIAT would wind up being stronger and more desirable than WVTM, which MG SOLD TO LIN in order to buy WVTM from NBC?

 

One has to remember that for DECADES channel 42 was the doormat for WVTM and WBRC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Who would have guessed five years ago that WIAT would wind up being stronger and more desirable than WVTM, which MG SOLD TO LIN in order to buy WVTM from NBC?

 

One has to remember that for DECADES channel 42 was the doormat for WVTM and WBRC.

 

Maybe things will change again under another new owner for WVTM. That is a tough one that is likely dependant on who buys the others, especially in Providence. Meredith and Hearst are the most likely IMO (Meredith if WPRI/WNAC is on the market and Hearst if WJAR is on the market). Raycom and Sinclair are out due to conflicts and the market is likely too big for Gray and Nexstar. Not NBC itself hopefully (not bloody likely) as they decimated the station, dropping it to a distant third behind WBRC and WBMA+, and Media General ignored it and let it languish in fourth.

 

Would Meredith or Hearst be willing to push it forward and try to rebuild the station?

 

New Vision bought WIAT, which was in turn sold to LIN. Both companies pushed it upward greatly to make it competitive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't Boston and Providence too close together geographically for Hearst to do that, though?

Adjacent markets don't matter, not since the days when the FCC stopped caring about overlapping signal contours. Sinclair owns in Dayton and Columbus, for instance.

Correct. Ownership is based on DMA. To elaborate a bit, It has been this way since the turn of the millennium. To quote from the linked release regarding changes to the duopoly rule: "Narrow the geographic scope of the rule from the current Grade B contour approach to a "DMA" test to permit common ownership of two television stations without regard to contour overlap if the stations are in separate Nielsen Designated Market Areas ("DMAs") And, as you have pointed out there are plenty of examples co-owned stations in adjacent markets where the contours overlap now. Heck, I can even think of a few duopolies where the duopoly pairs overlap (ie: NYC & Philly) now as well.

 

Yes, they are too close. Boston stations provide a "grade B" signal over Providence.

Incorrect. See above. The only time the "grade B" or noise limited contour comes into play is when "cross-ownership" issues come into play. I pointed this out over in the thread regarding the WPLG purchase when people were ruling out owners of WPB stations due to overlap. So, If the potential owner has radio stations or newspapers in the area it muddies up the water a little bit. However, if the potential owner has just TV stations there is nothing stopping them from owning stations in adjacent markets, even if the signals overlap like Boston & Providence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alabama, Auburn and the entire SEC. Very good point: I'm sure that makes WIAT one of LIN's more producing stations.

If I recall correctly, the SEC on CBS gets its highest ratings in the Birmingham market. So WIAT is definitely the most coveted of the two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If I recall correctly, the SEC on CBS gets its highest ratings in the Birmingham market. So WIAT is definitely the most coveted of the two.

 

This could make things in Mobile interesting.....CBS is one of WKRG's strong suits. That and it makes TONS of money for Media General.

 

On the other hand, it's been decimated under Media General's watch over the years. Things are very slow to change there, and WALA has the upper hand over WKRG and the market in most time slots.

 

Add to the fact that WKRG is hubbed out in several ways (traffic, MC, graphics) could make it easier to sell off WALA/WFNA. WKRG is probably a cheaper operation to run, but WALA/WFNA could benefit them more if they make more money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing nobody has brought up here in regards to Mobile, is that LIN has a regional hub there so they would probably be more inclined to keep that station. And they will finally have somewhat of a regional footprint there to actually get that hub up and running.

 

I agree with everyone else that WKRG is Raycom's to lose.

 

And if the new company is willing to do some trades, please trade something for KPRC/KSAT, so lonely KXAN will finally have some company.

 

Also it's amusing to see everyone get shocked at the continuing consolidation of the industry...

 

Or see Hearst continue to be brought up as potential buyer. You would've thought if they're interested in stations at this point, they would've already acquired some. They're a dark horse at this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These ownership woes are going to continue to get real exciting and if we thought last year was something. Let see what in store in 2014, 2015 and even 2016. We've seen so many companies just simply want to get out of the business or merg with other companies. ie Fisher, Belo, Young now Lin/MG and the beat goes on.

 

Each market and owner offers something different so let take a look at this...

 

Birmingham-#44 WBRC long the king in the market and going from ABC to FOX in 1996 has them still on top. However the other (3) stations have seen their challenges. WBMA has had a successful story able to challenge WBRC and WVTM. WIAT was the doormat in the Birmingham market and one of CBS' weakest stations. Now it in the catbird seat because with this deal will they keep 42 or 13. In their best interest to keep CBS 42 which has moved up. The station has better syndicated programming where 13 which used to be tops has fallen flat. 6,13, 33/40, 42 all have seen the change in ownership in that market.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/blog/2013/08/nielsen-ranks-birminghams-top-tv.html

 

 

Mobile- #59 The tale of two cities because you have Pensacola where Sinclair owns (4) stations in that market and WEAR does well and WPMI has been able to make some big gains. Everybody looking at WKRG but if Raycom look hard they could take WPMI away, because WPMI is owned by Deerfield which is the bad cousin linked to Sinclair. WPMI would benefit more vs WKRG, but who would want WKRG if that was to happen????

 

Savannah- #92 Nobody talking about this market which is a very small market, but LIN owns ABC/FOX station while MG owns the NBC affiliate and the CBS affiliate is the dominant ratings bonanza. Would Sinclair want to enter into Georgia? They have no outlets there.

 

Another question is with all these LMA, JSS, and other agreements with the FCC there going to be more ownership changes.

Last week it was WPLG sale and this week it the merger of LIN/MG... What going to happen next week? What company going to sell or station on the chopping block. Stay tune....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those with other conflicts: Raycom has 2 (Birmingham and Savannah), Sinclair has 2 (Birmingham and Mobile, both BIG ones), Nexstar has 1 (Green Bay; Birmingham likely out of their market size range) and Journal has 1 (Green Bay, but are they expanding?).

Journal has a duopoly in the GB market [WGBA/WACY].

 

I'm starting to lean towards the "WLUK/WCWF stay, WBAY goes" route here. Wild speculation here, but I can see Sadusky wanting to hold onto the LIN ops in those markets where this conflict exists. Also----and this is even wilder speculation---WLUK mentioned the merger tonight, and never even said the WBAY calls [let alone mention that MG already owned them]. WBAY hasn't [to my knowledge] even mentioned it, whether on air or online. I'm sure I'm not exhibiting any regional bias when I say that the GB market will be among the most dramatically impacted from this merger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The thing nobody has brought up here in regards to Mobile, is that LIN has a regional hub there so they would probably be more inclined to keep that station. And they will finally have somewhat of a regional footprint there to actually get that hub up and running.

 

I agree with everyone else that WKRG is Raycom's to lose.

 

The question is, what stations are WALA/WFNA running out of their hub?

If Savannah's involved, then the hub itself may be in question.

Interestingly enough, WALA's facility was built without a master control back in 2002 since Emmis ran the station through Orlando (when they owned WKCF). WBPG (now WFNA) was absorbed by Emmis in 2003. LIN added a master control of their own when WALA and WBPG were purchased.

 

This could finally be Raycom's slam dunk in Mobile....whoever gets sold off, that is.

However, it needs to be said that they have NOT purchased a single station since the Jefferson-Pilot merger in 2007, and signing on WMBF in 2008. Their only growth has been through the WBRC/WTVR swap and SSAs involving American Spirit, and most recently, WVUE.

 

Now since I'm trying to wrap my head around what Sinclair could do in Harrisburg, it wouldn't surprise me if any kind of facility swap takes place. WALA has a lousy VHF signal, where WKRG has a very strong UHF signal. WFNA's signal is UHF as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using TVNewsTalk you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.