Young Broadcasting, Media General announce merger agreement

Young Broadcasting, Media General announce merger agreement

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The parent company of WATE-TV 6 has agreed to a merger with another major media company.

The merger of New Young Broadcasting Holding Co., Inc. and Media General, Inc., was announced Thursday morning.

Young Broadcasting is a privately held company that owns WATE and WKRN in Nashville, along with 10 other network-affiliated TV stations.

Media General owns 18 network-affiliated stations, mostly located in the Southeast.

"Media General shares our commitment to excellence in journalism, strong digital focus and competitive approach," Young Broadcasting CEO and President Deborah A. McDermott said in a statement to employees. "The combined company will be in a strong position for continued growth and to thrive in an environment of rapid change."

McDermott went on to say the merger transaction will take several months to complete and during that time the stations "will continue to operate in a 'business as usual' manner."

The merger of the two companies will spread their 30 TV stations across 27 markets and reach 14 percent of U.S. TV households.

The new company expects to refinance its combined debt at a substantially lower cost of capital, the companies said in their merger announcement.

The move will allow the new company to grow its cash flow in the first year of operation.

Average revenues for Media General totaled $320 million in 2011/2012. Young's average revenues for the same period were $219 million.

Media General's outstanding debt was $601 million and Young's was $164 million, according to March 31, 2013 statements.

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