Raycom Works Out Shared Services Deal For WVUE New Orleans

Raycom Media and Louisiana Media Company have agreed to a shared services agreement where Raycom will provide operational services to WVUE New Orleans, which continues to be owned by Louisiana Media Company and Tom Benson.

The agreement is expected to start December 16.

WVUE, a Fox affiliate, is the only TV station owned by Benson, who also owns the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans.

"We are excited to expand in such a creative way, while maintaining our local ownership. This collaboration allows both companies to become stronger in the region right away," said Benson. "The personnel we have locally have worked incredibly hard to grow WVUE Fox 8 in the right direction. We're looking forward to seeing the continued results of those efforts as we partner with Raycom Media."

An internal Raycom newsletter had reported the sale of WVUE to Raycom last month, which was denied by Louisiana Media Company.

Joe Cook, president of Louisiana Media Company and general manager of WVUE, said the arrangement "allows our station to immediately benefit from Raycom's scale and strong regional presence."

WVUE is in DMA No. 51. Alabama-based Raycom has a cluster of stations in the southeast, but does not own in New Orleans.

"We're excited about this partnership which provides more depth and resources in covering issues of importance to the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region," said Paul McTear, president and CEO of Raycom. "Raycom has served viewers in Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Shreveport and Biloxi for years. The addition of New Orleans strengthens and reinforces our commitment to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast."

Michael Malone

Michael Malone is content director at B+C and Multichannel News. He joined B+C in 2005 and has covered network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television, including writing the "Local News Close-Up" market profiles. He also hosted the podcasts "Busted Pilot" and "Series Business." His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Boston Globe and New York magazine.