It looks like WALA-TV will be changing hands again, as Media General announced today it has an agreement to sell the local Fox affiliate to Meredith Corp. for roughly $86 million.
Media General ended up owning WKRG-TV, WALA-TV and its sister station WFNA-TV when it and LIN Media merged in March. At that point there was much speculation as to how the company would handle having three stations in the same market. Today the company decided to keep the station that has consistently won the news station ratings battle lately.
“We are happy to stay with Media General and appreciate the fact they had a choice and decided to keep us,” said WKRG News Director Mike Rausch.
It appears Media General will also keep WFNA, along with the associated digital properties. On the other side of the equation, Meredith is gaining what they believe will be a strong addition to their portfolio of 11 stations across the country — most in top 30 markets.
“The acquisition of WALA is consistent with our successful Total Shareholder Return strategy and will be immediately accretive to earnings,” Meredith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen M. Lacy said in a press release. “This is a high-performing station that will add to our strong cash flow.”
The transaction won’t be complete until Media General’s merger with LIN Media is finalized and the sale of WALA receives regulatory approval.