Media General to Buy LIN Media for $1.6 Billion

Deal creates the second-largest pure-play TV group

Consolidation in the TV business continues unabated, as Media General on Friday announced it has agreed to acquire LIN Media for $1.6 billion.

Pending regulatory approval, the combined group will include 74 network affiliate owned or services TV stations in 46 markets and reach nearly a quarter (23 percent) of U.S. TV households. The combined portfolio will have 33 Big Four network affiliates in the top 75 markets and will boast the second-largest CBS affiliate group. 

Media General chairman J. Stewart Bryan III said the deal would create the second-largest pure-play TV broadcasting company in the U.S.

Details of the transaction call for Media General to pay LIN shareholders $763 million in cash and 49.5 million shares in stock. RBC Capital Markets is providing the capital.

LIN Media president and CEO Vincent Sadusky will become the president and CEO of the combined company, which will retain the Media General name. Bryan will remain chairman.

The Media General-LIN merger follows on the heels of a spate of recent TV deals, including Gannett-Belo, Tribune-Local TV, and Sinclair-Allbritton.

The deal is slated to close in early 2015.