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Meredith To Buy WALA-TV In Mobile-Pensacola From Media General

Meredith Corp. (MDP) said it has agreed to buy the broadcast assets of WALA-TV, the Fox affiliate in Mobile-Pensacola, from Media General, Inc. (MEG) for about $86 million subject to certain purchase price adjustments.

The deal will close when Media General's merger with LIN Media LLC and the sale of WALA to Meredith receive final regulatory approval.

The addition of WALA 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 buy WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass. Currently, Meredith owns or operates 15 television stations that reach over 10% of U.S. television households. Seven of Meredith's stations are located in Top 25 markets, and 13 are in Top 50 markets.

Meredith does not expect the acquisition of WALA to have a material effect on its fiscal 2015 first half financial performance. THe company 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.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters currently expect the company to earn $0.68 per share for the first quarter.

by RTT Staff Writer

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