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Gannett Closes Belo Deal After Meredith Agrees To Pay $407.5M For Three TV Stations

By | Monday December 23, 2013 @ 9:41am PST

That was fast. Gannett not only completed the $1.5B (not including debt) deal to buy TV station power Belo — it also announced an agreement to sell St. Louis’ KMOV just a week after it agreed to do so to win Justice Department approval Gannett Belofor the transaction. Meredith Corp. will pay about $407.5M for KMOV as well as two Belo stations in Phoenix: independent KTVK and CW affiliate KASW. “Meredith is a highly respected multi-media company which shares our commitment to outstanding local journalism, and we are confident that these stations will be in good hands,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore says. She adds that the terms “will significantly lower the effective purchase price for Belo while reducing only minimally the expected synergies associated with the Belo transaction.”  The company says that the loss of the three stations will only cut about $2M of the $175M in annual synergies it expects to realize over the next three years. Gannett will continue to wield a lot of clout in the two cities: It owns NBC affiliates KSDK in St. Louis and KPNX in Phoenix. The FCC approved the deal with Belo late last week. Gannett — which was already the No. 1 owner of NBC affiliates — now also is the top independent owner of CBS affiliates, and No. 4 with ABC. Gannett shares are up 3.4% at mid-day while Meredith is +5.2%.

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UPDATE: Time Warner Cable, Meredith TV Extend Retransmission Consent Talks

UPDATE, 7:30PM Wednesday: Time Warner Cable reported tonight the company has agreed to an extension of retransmission consent for Meredith TV stations through July 31. TWC said the two companies “hope to finalize an agreement before that time. We thank our customers for their patience.”

PREVIOUSLY, 7:50 AM Los Angeles time July 23: On Wednesday the cable company could lose the CBS and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Kansas City, an NBC station in Nashville, and a CBS outlet in Springfield, Mass. if the companies don’t resolve their contract dispute. The script will be familiar to anyone who has followed these retransmission consent fights, including the one that Time Warner Cable resolved last week with Hearst Television. The No. 2 cable operator says that the broadcaster wants “a price increase of over 200%, for programming that they deliver for free over the air and via the internet.” But Meredith’s KCTV in Kansas City is telling viewers that “Time Warner Cable profits by including broadcast stations like KCTV5 and KSMO in its line-up. We are asking Time Warner Cable for pennies a day. Like any other business, Time Warner Cable should pay fair market value for the ability to resell our programming for you.” Meredith seems to to have more to lose than TWC does in this showdown: Meredith shares are down 3.2% in early trading Monday, … Read More »

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TV Station Groups Unite To Offer Social Networking And Info To Mobile Devices

By | Tuesday November 15, 2011 @ 8:32am PST

The partnership involves big names in local TV including Belo, Cox, E.W. Scripps, Gannett, Hearst, and Media General. They want to enhance TV viewing beginning in early 2012 by offering an app that enables Apple or Android mobile devices to automatically detect what you’re watching. The stations then would feed additional info about the shows — including local and syndicated fare — as well as opportunities to connect with other viewers. Yes, they’ll also send ads to your device. Here’s how they describe the free service, to be called ConnecTV:

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Rachael Ray Moves Her Magazine From Reader’s Digest To Meredith

By | Wednesday October 12, 2011 @ 2:00pm PDT

DES MOINES, IA/NEW YORK, N.Y., OCTOBER 12, 2011 – Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP, www.meredith.com ) announced today that it has reached agreement in principle with author and television personality Rachael Ray for Meredith to acquire Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine and its related digital media assets from the Reader’s Digest Association. The transaction is expected to close later this fall. The acquisition will include the very popular and award-winning magazine that’s published 10 times annually and reaches an audience of 7.3 million with a ratebase of 1.7 million, as well as a robust website (www.rachaelraymag.com). Every Day with Rachael Ray has received numerous honors including being named Magazine Launch of the Year by Advertising Age, and to both Advertising Age’s A-List and ADWEEK’s Hot List of top titles.

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