Media General to acquire Meredith for $2 billion

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Media General and Meredith Corporation announced on Tuesday their intention to merge into a single new company known as Meredith Media General, according to a news release.

The combined company will be the third-largest operator of television broadcast stations in the country with a portfolio of 88 local terrestrial stations in more than 50 markets.

The merger consists of Media General acquiring Meredith in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $2.4 billion.

Stations in six communities — Nashville; Hartford; Greenville, South Carolina; Pensacola; Springfield, Massachusetts and Portland, Oregon — will be divested or otherwise sold in order to address regulatory concerns regarding the merger, the companies said.

Officials for both companies told The Desk by e-mail that they have not yet decided which stations would be divested as part of the merger.

The merger has been approved by the boards of both companies and, provided it clears regulatory hurdles and is approved by shareholders, is expected to close by the middle of next year.