RELATED: LIN Media Revenue Up 15% in Quarter
LIN Media's acquisition of the New Vision Television stations gives the LIN group a significant increase in scale, noted Vincent Sadusky, president and CEO of LIN, on the company's earnings call May 9. While duopolies, as well as virtual duopolies, represent a major pillar of the LIN strategy, the acquisition does not initially fit with that gameplan. But Sadusky said it opens the door to create potential duopolies in these markets down the road.
"We do believe this is an accretive deal," said Sadusky. "We do believe this gives us the ability to create new duopolies. We like the transaction. We like the mix of assets and we think this makes our entity stronger."
There are 13 stations in the New Vision group, including KOIN Portland (Ore.), KHON Honolulu and KSN Wichita. The agreement, for $330 million and another $12 million of debt, awaits regulatory approval. Sadusky said the New Vision stations fell right into LIN's sweet spot: major network affiliations, midsize markets, well run, not requiring major overhauls.
Sadusky said there is "pretty significant synergy potential," thanks to the agreement, including more leverage in retrans negotations with subscription TV operators and with the networks. "New Vision increases our total scale," he said, "and I think it will be helpful to LIN in its entirety during the next cycle of retrans negotiations."
LIN reported a 15% revenue increase in the first quarter.