Media General is selling ABC affiliate WTVQ Lexington, Ky., to Morris Network for an undisclosed sum. Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter.
Last October, Media General announced its intention to sell five stations in the Southeastern United States in an effort to reduce debt. The remaining outlets are WCWJ Jacksonville, Fla.; WMBB Panama City, Fla.; KALB/NALB Alexandria, La.; and independent WNEG Toccoa, Ga.
Media General president and CEO Marshall N. Morton said, "We are pleased that the execution of our divestitures is proceeding as planned and in line with our value expectations. We will use the proceeds to reduce debt. Negotiations are nearing completion with other parties for the remaining four stations. We expect to announce definitive agreements for these sales in the coming weeks."
Savannah-based Morris Multimedia is the parent of five-station group Morris Network.
Morris Multimedia chairman and CEO Charles H. Morris said the company will continue to grow. "The acquisition represents another important strategic fit for our broadcast group led by Dean Hinson, its president,” he added. “Lexington will be our largest broadcast market and features strengths that we consider crucial to long-term success. Consistent with our recent station acquisitions, WTVQ is a superior television station with a strong local presence, talented employees and a quality news product."
WTVQ typically ranks third in the No. 63 Nielsen DMA.
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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.