Media General to acquire LIN Media for $1.6 billion

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lin-media-640_20100413063723_320_240Broadcaster Media General announced on Friday that it will acquire LIN Media for $1.6 billion in cash and stock, creating the second-largest local television company in the United States.

The acquisition will give Media General over 70 T.V. stations in 46 markets throughout the U.S., including powerhouse stations like KHON in Hawaii and KASA/KRQE in New Mexico.

When the deal closes, Media General will be one of the largest operators of local television stations in the country, second only to Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

In a statement on Friday, Media General chairman J. Stewart Bryan said the acquisition will create “a financially strong organization that will have opportunities for profitable growth greater than either company could achieve on its own.”

Under the deal, Media General will acquire LIN’s digital and mobile portfolios, including all of LIN’s local news websites.

The deal is the latest example of one large television group growing larger through acquisition. Last year, Sinclair Broadcasting announced it would acquire T.V. stations from Allbritton for $985 million. The deal, which would increase Sinclair’s portfolio to around 140 stations, is expected to close in July; Sinclair recently restructured its offering in order to win over FCC regulators.

Last December, the Tribune Company closed on a $2 billion deal to acquire stations operated by Local TV, LLC. The acquisition was largely symbolic for the once-bankrupt company as Tribune had been offering Local TV stations news and sales resources under local marketing agreements for years.

AFP: Media General to acquire LIN for $1.6 billion