FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 14, 2008
Media General Announces Sale of WMBB-TV in Panama City, Fla., and KALB/NALB-TV in Alexandria, La., to Hoak Media Corporation
Richmond, Va., and Dallas – Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) and Hoak Media Corporation announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Hoak Media will purchase the assets of Media General’s ABC television station WMBB in Panama City, Fla., and its dual NBC/CBS station KALB/NALB in Alexandria, La. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of 2008. Terms were not disclosed.
On October 29, 2007, Media General announced that it was exploring the sale of five broadcast television stations in mid-sized markets in the Southeastern U.S. The other stations are WTVQ in Lexington, Ky., WCWJ, a CW affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla., and WNEG, an independent station in Toccoa, Ga. On March 7, 2008, Media General announced a definitive agreement to sell WTVQ. All five stations will be presented as discontinued operations for all periods presented in Media General’s first-quarter results. Once all the divestitures are completed, Media General will provide aggregated financial details on the group of stations sold.
Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer of Media General, said, “We are pleased to move forward on the second sales agreement of our strategic plan to divest five stations and expect to sign agreements for the remaining stations in the coming weeks. These sales meet our value expectations and we will use the proceeds to reduce debt.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Hoak Media President and Chief Executive Officer Eric D. Van den Branden, said, "This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of acquiring stations with quality local news programming, solid management teams, and the highest commitment to serving their local communities. We look forward to working with the employees of each of those stations.”
Mr. Morton said, “We thank the employees of WMBB and KALB/NALB for their many fine contributions to Media General and wish them well in the future.”
WMBB, which has approximately 70 employees, was acquired by Media General in 2000 as part of the acquisition of a group of television stations from the former Spartan Communications. KALB was acquired in 1997 from Park Communications and has approximately 55 employees. KALB launched its digital channel NALB with its CBS affiliation in January 2007. NALB has 4 employees.Forward-Looking Statements
About Media General
Media General is a multimedia company operating leading newspapers, television stations and online enterprises primarily in the Southeastern United States. The company’s publishing assets include three metropolitan newspapers, The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal; 22 daily community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina; and more than 150 weekly newspapers and other publications. The company’s broadcasting assets include 23 network-affiliated television stations that reach more than 32 percent of the television households in the Southeast and nearly 9.5 percent of those in the United States. The company’s interactive media assets include more than 75 online enterprises that are associated with its newspapers and television stations.
About Hoak Media
Hoak Media Corporation was formed by Jim Hoak and Eric Van den Branden in 2003. Including this pending acquisition, the company owns, operates, or programs 24 television stations in 10 markets in the states of Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Louisiana and Florida. Hoak Media’s television station group includes affiliates of CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW and MyNetworkTV.
Lou Anne J. Nabhan, Investors
Ray Kozakewicz, Media
Hoak Media Corporation