Heartland/Prather Acquire WTVA Tupelo for $18.7 Million

Heartland Media and MSouth Equity Partners have agreed to acquire WTVA Tupelo from WTVA, Inc., for $18.7 million. Bob Prather, former Gray Television president, is president and CEO of Heartland. The group now owns stations in Utica, N.Y. and Eugene, Medford and Klamath Falls, Oregon. All are ABC affiliates; WTVA is an NBC affiliate with ABC on its dot-two.  

“We are excited about the opportunity to continue the excellent television service that has been provided for the past 57 years by the Spain family,” said Bob Prather, president and CEO of Heartland.

The deal is subject to FCC approval, which is expected in early 2015.

Tupelo is DMA No. 133. WTVA is the market leader in revenue, according to BIA/Kelsey.

“We believe Heartland sees the value in our broadcasting strategy and our excellent group of employees,” said Jane Spain, president and CEO of WTVA, Inc. “Heartland is particularly well suited to build on the service that WTVA has provided viewers in Northeast Mississippi and Northwest Alabama for over 5 decades.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.