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Posts Tagged ‘Media General’

Andy Alford Named GM of WFLA

andyalfordMedia General has named Andy Alford VP and GM of Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA.

“This is a very exciting opportunity and I look forward to working with the talented group of broadcast professionals at WFLA,” Alford said in a statement.

Alford, who starts at WFLA on August 1, comes to the station from WTEN in Albany where he was named GM in 2010 by Young Broadcasting. He will continue in his role as VP of Sales for Media General.

Alford has also worked at WGCL in Atlanta, working his way up from general sales manager to station manager to general manager in the seven years he worked there. He has also worked in Orlando, FL, and Syracuse and Rochester, NY.

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Q1 Earnings: Media General Net Operating Revenue Up 16%

media generalMedia General reported $144 million in net operating revenue for the first quarter of 2014, a 16% increase on the year-ago quarter. It was the first full quarter for the combined Media General and Young Broadcasting.

The company reported an increase in core local and national gross time sales, as well as automotive and telecommunications advertising. Media General stations “generated significant revenue” during the Sochi Winter Olympics and the NCAA Basketball tournament.

“Political revenues of $4.4 million were more than five times last year’s level, as we benefited especially from the race in Florida’s 13th congressional district, near Tampa. Also, retransmission consent revenues grew nearly 50%, and digital media revenues rose 33%,” Media General president and CEO George L. Mahoney said in a statement.

With Merger, Media General May Add Bargaining Power and Shed Jobs

LIN Media GWhen Media General announced its merger with LIN Media to create what it calls the “second largest pure-play broadcast business in the US,” the speculation machine started up in an attempt to figure out what the merger meant in the long term.

The new Media General will boast 74 network affiliated owned or operated stations.  The Wrap reports there’s bound to be some market overlap and inefficiencies, which as we all know can only lead to one thing: layoffs.

“They’re merging because they’re seeing some of their competitors in the pay TV arena that are getting a lot larger in terms of scale,” Dennis Wharton, Executive V.P. of Communications for the National Association of Broadcasters told TheWrap. “Broadcasters, I think, believe that they have to have scale to compete against providers who are not giving away their programming for free.”

This is particularly true after the recent announcement that Comcast and Time Warner Cable planned to merge.

However, Wharton played down the possibility of newsroom layoffs. “If there are, potentially there will be job losses in the back offices –  in the areas of finance, human resources and IT,” he said. Read more

Media General and LIN Media Announce Merger

LIN Media GMedia General and LIN Media have announced a definitive merger agreement valued at $2.6 Billion creating the second largest TV broadcast company in the US.

Vincent Sadusky, LIN Media’s president and CEO, will become president and CEO of the new company which will be called Media General.

This is an exciting and historic day for both companies,” said Sadusky. “Together, we will be able to better serve our local communities throughout our significant and diverse geographic footprint and further grow our national digital business. I am honored to lead our new company, deliver important synergies and achieve new levels of success.”

The deal will bring together 74 stations which are either owned or operated by the two companies in 46 markets. Combined, the new company’s stations will reach 23% of US TV households.

KRON Moving into KGO Building

kronSan Francisco Bay Area MyNetworkTV station KRON has announced it will soon share a building with ABC owned station KGO.

Media General, which owns KRON, said it will sublease space from KGO for its operations. The station said it will remain independent with separate broadcasting facilities. No staffing changes are expected in the move.

“We see this move as an excellent opportunity to invest in KRON’s future and its ability to even better serve the San Francisco market with outstanding local news,” said  George Mahoney president and CEO of Media General. “The new space will provide a separate studio for our use that is a significant upgrade from our current studio, and we will configure other space to meet our specific needs. The new space will enable our employees to collaborate more effectively as well as enhance their ability to serve our viewers and advertisers.”

KGO has its studios and control rooms on the first floor. Its newsroom and offices are on the second floor. An ABC spokesperson told TVSpy KRON will occupy the third floor of the building.

Media General Asks FCC to Take Sides in Retrans Negotiations with DISH Network

media general_dishThe growing animosity between DISH Network and Media General is now being played out in front of the FCC after Media General filed its own complaint with the Commission saying DISH is abusing the process in its battle over retransmission fees.

DISH Network filed a complaint with the FCC on October 18, asking the FCC to force Media General to negotiate in good faith after negotiations with the station group that started on October 1 stalled. DISH claimed Media General didn’t talk to them for 11 days.

Media General has now filed its own complaint with FCC asking the Commission to dismiss DISH’s complaint and “refer DISH to the Enforcement Bureau for consideration of the appropriate actions for DISH’s abuse of the Commission’s processes and for its misrepresentations to and lack of candor before the Commission.” Media General is also asking DISH to pay its attorney’s fees for responding to what they call a frivolous complaint.

The blackout affects DISH customers in 17 markets including Columbus, OH, Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, and Hattiesburg, MS.

[TVNewsCheck]

Media General Shareholders OK Merger with Young

media general_304x200Media General shareholders have approved the company’s merger with New Young Broadcasting.

The merged company will keep the Media General name and will continue to be traded on the NYSE under its existing symbol MEG.

“We’re delighted to have shareholder approval for our business combination with Young Broadcasting, and we are very excited about the prospects for the combined company,” George L. Mahoney, president and chief executive of Media General said in a statement. “Once we receive FCC approval for our license transfers, we will close very quickly on the transaction.  We believe the review process is going smoothly at the FCC.” Read more

DISH Says Media General Not Playing Fair in Retrans Fight, Asks FCC for Help

media general_dishDISH Network has appealed to the FCC to “immediately require Media General to negotiate in good faith to resolve a blackout that began Oct. 1.”

The satellite broadcaster released a statement saying it told the FCC in a recently filed complaint, “Media General’s conduct violates the Commission’s rules requiring good faith negotiation for retransmission consent rights, because, among other things, Media General failed to respond for 11 days to DISH’s last pre-blackout offer.”

>UPDATE: On Friday, Media General responded by saying in part, “Unfortunately, DISH would prefer to manufacture a dispute, and now ask for government intervention, for its own purposes, rather than pay us a fair, market-based rate for the value of our stations.” You can read the entire statement after the jump.

DISH executive vice president Dave Shull said in the statement, “DISH customers and Media General viewers were without their shows and events for 11 days before Media General would even contact us.” Shull added, “We reacted with a counter offer within hours and Media General has yet to respond. DISH is asking the FCC to act expeditiously to address Media General’s bad faith, push them back to the negotiating table and submit to mediation to get programming back to consumers.” Read more

Q2 Earnings: Media General Total Revenue, Excluding Political, Up 5%

Media General reported total gross revenues, excluding political, increased 4.7% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2013. Political revenues experienced an expected decline, from $7.5 million to $1 million, in the non-election year.

The company reported $5 million of operating income in the second quarter of 2013, down from $17 million in the second quarter of 2012. Media General attributed the year-over-year decline to significant expenses, including $7.2 million in expenses relating to its merger with Young Broadcasting, and an 86% decline in political revenue.

Cable and satellite retransmission revenue increased 38%, while digital revenues were up 17%.

“Our stations are doing a good job this year replacing last year’s robust Political revenues with new revenue initiatives and business development programs,” George L. Mahoney, president and CEO of Media General, said in a statement.

Young Broadcasting, Media General to Merge

Media General and Young Broadcasting have announced an agreement to merge the two companies. The new company will retain the Media General name and location, based in Richmond, Va.

Media General owns 18 stations and Young owns or operates 12 stations. The combined company will have 30 stations in 27 markets, reaching 14% of U.S. television households. In a statement announcing the merger, the two companies said the merger will make Media General more “geographically diverse” and give it a presence in “more markets that generate strong political revenues.”

Media General president and CEO George L. Mahoney will remain in that role following the merger.

“I’m very excited about the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for the new Media General. Our stations and Young’s have earned excellent reputations as leading local content providers,” Mahoney said in a statement. “In working with the Young management and owners over the past several months, it’s clear that we share strong values for customer focus and innovation and a commitment to harnessing the future in an age of rapid change.”

Read the memo to Young stations from present and CEO Deborah McDermott, as well as the official announcement, after the jump. Read more

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