Media General Sells Final Paper
Tampa Tribune divestment makes MG a pure-play broadcaster
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/9/2012 10:53:20 AM
Media General has a buyer for its Tampa Tribune newspaper, with new company Revolution Capital Group agreeing to acquire the paper and its associated digital products for $9.5 million. The sale has closed.
The Tampa Tribune was Media General's largest and second oldest newspaper. After its deal with Berkshire Hathaway for 63 papers back in May, this week's sale means Media General no longer owns newspapers.
Marshall Morton, president and CEO of Media General, called it a "bittersweet day" for the media giant.
"With this transaction, we complete the transformation of Media General's business model to one focused on broadcast television and digital media," he said. "We believe our future prospects are strong, based on operating 18 top-ranked local television stations in growing and important markets, mostly in the Southeast. In addition, our financial position was greatly strengthened this year as a result of our new financing arrangement with Berkshire Hathaway."
Morton noted that Media General has stations in four of the key battleground states for the presidential election: Ohio, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.
Robert Loring, founder and managing partner of Revolution Capital Group, said the group is psyched to take the reins at the Tampa Tribune. "We are delighted to be the new owner of The Tampa Tribune, a newspaper with strong brand equity and a long history of serving its readers, advertisers and community exceedingly well," he says. "We believe strongly in the value of local content."
The Tampa Tribune shares space with Media General's WFLA, the "News Center" operation held up as a model for converged media when it opened in 2000.
With Media General selling Tampa Tribune... I'm hoping that changes could and might be in the works for some of its TV stations. I could see WFLA getting a brand new news set... and several other stations also getting new news sets. Media General working on a new station group graphics package... as well as a new station group music package. Just some thoughts.
Eric - 10/10/2012 2:50:08 PM EDT
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