DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP; www.meredith.com) today announced a definitive agreement to purchase the broadcast assets of WALA-TV, the Fox affiliate in Mobile (AL)-Pensacola (FL), from Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) for approximately $86 million subject to certain purchase price adjustments. The transaction will close when Media General's merger with LIN Media LLC and the sale of WALA to Meredith receive final regulatory approval.
"The acquisition of WALA is consistent with our successful Total Shareholder Return strategy and will be immediately accretive to earnings," said Meredith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen M. Lacy. "This is a high-performing station that will add to our strong cash flow."
The addition of WALA, located in the nation's 59th-largest television market, is the latest in a series of strategic broadcast television station acquisitions by Meredith. Earlier in 2014, Meredith closed on its acquisitions of KTVK-TV in Phoenix and KMOV-TV in St. Louis. In June, Meredith announced an agreement to purchase WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass. Currently, Meredith owns or operates 15 television stations that reach over 10 percent of U.S. television households. Seven of Meredith's stations are located in Top 25 markets, and 13 are in Top 50 markets.
"WALA adds to our growing portfolio of quality stations in fast-growing markets," said Meredith Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz. "Both Mobile and Pensacola are desirable destinations for tourism and relocation. And we are excited about the political advertising dollars that flow into Florida every cycle."
The acquisition of WALA is not expected to have a material effect on Meredith's fiscal 2015 first half financial performance. Meredith continues to expect fiscal 2015 first-quarter earnings per share to range from $0.60 to $0.65, compared to $0.53 in the prior-year period.
Meredith has been committed to service journalism for more than 110 years. Today, Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms – including broadcast television, print, digital, mobile, tablets and video – to provide consumers with content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners. Meredith's broadcast television portfolio includes:
- WGCL-TV (CBS) and WPCH-TV (TBS), Atlanta, GA (Market #9)
- KPHO-TV (CBS) and KTVK-TV (Ind.), Phoenix, AZ (#12)
- KMOV-TV (CBS), St. Louis, MO (#21)
- KPTV (FOX) and KPDX-TV (MYN), Portland, OR (#22)
- WSMV-TV (NBC), Nashville, TN (#29)
- WFSB-TV (CBS), Hartford & New Haven, CT (#30)
- KCTV (CBS) and KSMO-TV (MYN), Kansas City, MO (#31)
- WHNS-TV (FOX), Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC/Asheville, NC (#37)
- KVVU-TV (FOX), Las Vegas, NV (#42)
- WNEM-TV (CBS), Flint-Saginaw, MI (#68)
- WSHM-LD (CBS), Springfield-Holyoke, MA (#114)
Meredith's stations produce approximately 525 hours of local news and entertainment content each week, and operate leading local digital destinations. Additionally, Meredith Video Studios produces The Better Show, a syndicated daily lifestyle television program reaching 80 percent of U.S. TV households.
Meredith's National Media Group reaches 100 million unduplicated American women, including 60 percent of millennial women. Meredith is the leader in creating content across media platforms in key consumer interest areas such as food, home, parenthood and health through well-known brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, Parents and Allrecipes. The National Media Group features robust brand licensing activities, including over 3,000 SKUs of branded products at 4,000 Walmart stores across the U.S. Meredith Xcelerated Marketing is a leader at developing and delivering custom content and customer relationship marketing programs for many of the world's top brands, including Kraft, Lowe's and Chrysler.
Meredith's balanced portfolio consistently generates substantial free cash flow, and the Company is committed to growing Total Shareholder Return through dividend payments, share repurchases and strategic business investments. Meredith's current annualized dividend of $1.73 per share yields approximately 4 percent. Meredith has paid a dividend for 67 straight years and increased it for 21 consecutive years.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on management's current knowledge and estimates of factors affecting the Company and its operations. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated. Factors that could adversely affect future results include, but are not limited to, downturns in national and/or local economies; a softening of the domestic advertising market; world, national or local events that could disrupt broadcast television; increased consolidation among major advertisers or other events depressing the level of advertising spending; the unexpected loss or insolvency of one or more major clients; the integration of acquired businesses; changes in consumer reading, purchasing and/or television viewing patterns; increases in syndicated programming or other costs; unauthorized persons accessing our websites or internal networks; changes in television network affiliation agreements; technological developments affecting products or methods of distribution; changes in government regulations affecting the Company's industries; increases in interest rates; and the consequences of acquisitions and/or dispositions. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Meredith Corporation