Local TV Holdings has closed on its deal with Raycom to acquire WTVR Richmond. In January, the two broadcasters agreed to a cash-and-swap deal that would see WTVR and WBRC Birmingham change hands. Raycom kicked in cash as part of the pact.
WTVR is a CBS affiliate and WBRC is a Fox.
“After months of prospective owners walking through the halls and asking the same questions, Local TV Holdings came in and got the deal done in record time,” said WTVR President/General Manager Peter Maroney. “Our cultures are absolutely aligned…. compete hard and play to win. With (Local TV's CBS affiliate) WTKR up the road in Norfolk, we are going to own this region.”
Local TV CEO Bobby Lawrence said he was sorry to give up WBRC, but saw great opportunity in Richmond. “The opportunity to pick up WTVR, align it with our other regional stations and add some cash to the balance sheet was overwhelmingly good for our company in this environment,” he said.
At the time of the initial announcement, Raycom CEO Paul McTear said WBRC would give Alabama-based Raycom an even stronger presence in the state. “Adding WBRC to our portfolio gives Raycom a presence in nearly every major Alabama market,” he said. “This transaction allows us to complete the mandated divestiture of WTVR in Richmond. We are thrilled that our employees can now put the question of ownership behind them and begin a promising future with Local TV.”
Raycom had previously attempted to sell the station to Sinclair, but the deal was blocked by the Justice Department.
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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.
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