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Media General Sells Small CBS Affiliate

The University of Georgia Research Foundation agreed Wednesday to purchase CBS affiliate WNEG Toccoa, Ga., from Media General for an undisclosed price.

A $1.5 million price tag has been reported.

The parties signed a definitive purchase agreement and the transaction is scheduled to close in the fourth quarter, assuming regulatory clearance.

The station, which has 30 employees, is in the Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C. market.

Media General has now sold four of five stations designated for divestiture. “The sale of the fifth station, WCWJ in Jacksonville [Fla.], is progressing,” Media General president and CEO Marshall N. Morton said in a statement.

The five sales are expected to raise $100 million-$105 million, which, after taxes, will reduce Media General’s debt by $60 million-$65 million.

Based in Richmond, Va., Media General sold WTVQ in Lexington, Ky., to Morris Network May 13 and agreed to sell WMBB, an ABC station in Panama City, Fla., and KALB/NALB, a NBC/CBS station in Alexandria, La., to Hoak Media.

The buyer will be one of a handful of educational entities with licenses for commercial broadcasting properties.

“This provides a winning combination of strengthening local markets by emphasizing local interests while offering a real-world opportunity for faculty and students to work in research, development and teaching in media,” University of Georgia president Michael F. Adams said in a statement. “The revenue produced by this commercial venture will strengthen the operation of the television station while enhancing the research and outreach mission of the university.”