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Posts Tagged ‘Belo’

Pew Report: Total Value of Station Acquisitions Hits 7-Year High

In the annual State of the News Media report, Pew Research Center finds local television station sales in 2013 were up 205% compared to 2012. Nearly 300 stations were sold last year for a total of $8.8 billion, a 367% increase in total value compared to the previous year.

pew report local tv acquisitions

Sinclair led the way among station groups, purchasing 63 stations in 2013. Gannett purchased Belo, adding 20 stations, and Tribune Co. acquired Local TV, expanding its portfolio by 19 stations. The total value of local television acquisitions in 2013 was the highest it has been since 2006.

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FCC Approves Gannett’s Purchase of Belo

gannett belo logos_304x200Gannett Co. and Belo Corp. announced today the FCC has approved Gannett’s acquisition of Belo Corp.

The deal is expected to close early next week.

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice required Gannett sell St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV in order to move forward with the $1.5 billion acquisition. With Gannett assuming $715 million in existing Belo debt, the deal comes out to being worth nearly $2.2 billion.

With the purchase, Gannett will own 43 stations, making it the nation’s fourth largest owner of major network affiliates, reaching nearly one-third of all US households.

Gannett Agrees to Sell KMOV As Part of Belo Merger

gannett belo logos_304x200The Department of Justice will require Gannett Co. to sell St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV in order to proceed with the pending acquisition of Belo Corp.

The DOJ says Gannett, Belo Corp. and Sander Media LLC, which will acquire six stations in markets where Gannett and Belo overlap as part of the merger, must “divest substantially all of the assets used in the operation of KMOV-TV in St. Louis, Missouri, which is currently owned by Belo.”

Without the divestiture, “Gannett would have gained a dominant position in broadcast television spot advertising in the St. Louis area, resulting in higher prices advertisers,” the DOJ said in a statement.

KSDK, Gannett’s NBC affiliate in St. Louis, will not be impacted by the sale of KMOV, Gannett says.

The Gannett-Belo merger remains subject to approval by the FCC. It is expected to close by the end of the year.

Belo Shareholders Approve Gannett Merger

gannett belo logos_304x200Belo Corp. has announced its shareholders voted in favor of approving and adopting the merger agreement with Gannett in a special meeting yesterday.

The deal has come under fire from groups who have petitioned the FCC to deny the merger. In July, Free Press along with other organizations told the FCC in a petition the companies are trying to skirt cross-ownership rules by transferring station licenses to third party companies they called “ covert consolidation arrangements.”

The merger is also undergoing further scrutiny from the the US Department of Justice which filed a “Second Request” with the companies for more information.

Gannett announced in June it would acquire Belo for nearly $2.2 Billion. If approved, the merger would make it the fourth largest owner of major network affiliates behind CBS, FOX Broadcasting and Sinclair Broadcasting.

Q2 Earnings: Belo Revenue Declines 2.3%

Belo Corp. reported $174 million in revenue during the second quarter of 2013, a 2.3% decline compared to the year-ago quarter. Excluding political revenue, which was down $8.3 million in the non-election year, Belo reported a 2.5% increase in revenue compared to the second quarter of 2012.

Core spot revenue was up 1.6%, with national spot revenues up 4% and local spot revenues up 1%. Belo attributed the growth to “strength in the telecommunications and automotive categories which were up 68 percent and 9 percent, respectively, partially offset by lower spending in the healthcare, restaurant and retail categories which were down 18 percent, 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively.”

Other revenue, including Internet advertising, retransmission revenue and barter and trade advertising, was up 6% compared to the year-ago quarter. Station salaries, wages and employee benefits were flat compared to the second quarter of 2012.

Belo is in the process of being acquired by Gannett.

Q2 Earnings: Gannett Television Revenues Rise 3.6%

Gannett Co. reported $204.8 million in television revenues during the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 3.6% on the year-ago quarter.

Retransmission revenues rose 62.3%, while core advertising revenues were up 1.5%. Operating expenses in the broadcasting segment were $113.9 million, up 2.8% compared to the year-ago quarter. Gannett said the increase reflects “higher costs associated with stragetic initiatives.”

“Our long-term strategic plan — with a focus on both investment and execution — continues to position us for success well into the future. Gannett’s pending acquisition of Belo, and finding new ways to get content and offerings to the right user at the right time, are steps in our long-term strategy,” president and CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “We are accelerating our transformation into the ‘New Gannett’ every day.”

Belo Touts Voter Education Effort During 2012 Election

Belo Corporation announced the company’s “It’s Your Time” program gave free airtime to 135 congressional and gubernatorial candidates on its 14 news producing stations during the 2012 election.

“The political coverage our stations provide our local communities is essential to citizens having the information they need to make informed choices,” said Dunia A. Shive, Belo’s president and chief executive officer. “Belo is pleased to give candidates the opportunity to air their positions on important issues through the ‘It’s Your Time’ program.”

The media company also said it aired an average of two hours of political coverage per week in the six weeks leading up to last year’s election. That works out to roughly 17 minutes of political coverage per day. Read more

Brad Ramsey to Lead Belo’s WVEC

Brad Ramsey has been named president and general manager of Belo’s Hampton Roads ABC affiliate, WVEC.

He comes from WCAV-WVAW-WAHU in Charlottsville, VA where was was vice president and general manager.  He succeeds Tod Smith who was tapped by Belo to run its New Orleans duopoly, WWL-WUPL.

“Brad is an up-and-coming leader in the television industry who has delivered consistent revenue and ratings growth in his previous positions,” said Kathy Clements, Belo’s senior vice president of media operations in a statement posted to the company’s website. “His experience in the Virginia marketplace will be a significant asset to WVEC.”

Ramsey began his career as an anchor/reporter for WHSV before working his way up to vice president and general manager of the Winchester, VA ABC affiliate.

His first day will be November 5.

Belo Introduces New GMs at KMOV and WWL

Belo today announced the appointments of two new general managers at its stations in St. Louis and New Orleans.

Mark Pimentel has been named president and general manager of KMOV, Belo’s St. Louis CBS-affiliate, and Tod Smith has been tapped as president and GM of WWL in New Orleans, as well as MyNetworkTV sister station WUPL.

“Both Mark Pimentel and Tod Smith are outstanding leaders and have delivered noteworthy results throughout their careers,” said Peter Diaz, Belo’s president of media operations, announcing the hires. Read more

Belo Announces Slight Increase in Revenue

Belo today reported a 3% increase in total revenue for the first quarter of 2012, compared to the same period last year.

The Dallas-based company, which owns 20 stations across the country, generated $156 million during the first the months of this year.

Belo’s political revenue in the first quarter was up significantly.  The company’s Q1 political revenue totaled $1.6 million, a $1.2 million increase compared to 2011.

Excluding political revenue, total spot revenue was up 1%, with a 4% increase in local and a 5% decrease in national.  Belo attributes the growth in spot revenue to an increase in automotive and retail advertising. Read more

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