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TV station sees ownership change

March 21, 2014
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TV station sees ownership change
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A Grand Rapids television station is joining the second largest pure-play television broadcasting company in the U.S.

Media General said today that it has reached a definitive merger agreement with LIN Media — which locally owns WOOD, WOTV and WXSP in the Grand Rapids-Battle Creek market — for $1.6 billion.

Media General locally operates WLNS and WLAJ in the Lansing market.

“We are excited about the announcement made today, but are focused on our daily commitment to serve our viewers and advertisers,” said Diane Kniowski, WOOD TV general manager. “It's business as usual here at WOOD TV.”

Once the merger is approved, Media General and LIN Media will own and operate or service 74 stations across 46 markets, reaching approximately 26.5 million households, or 23 percent of U.S. TV households.

The companies’ TV portfolio includes 33 Big Four network-affiliated TV stations located in the top 75 media markets, 39 Big Four network-affiliated TV stations ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in their markets and the second-largest CBS affiliate group in the U.S., measured by revenue.

“Combining Media General and LIN Media will create the second largest pure-play TV broadcasting company in the United States — a financially strong organization that will have opportunities for profitable growth greater than either company could achieve on its own,” said J. Stewart Bryan III, Media General chairman.

“Our two companies share a deep commitment to operating top-rated stations, to providing our local markets with excellent journalism and to engaging in meaningful ways with the communities we serve. The prospects for digital media growth are particularly exciting.” 

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