Media General
 (MEG)

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  • Thu, Jan. 28, 11:40 AM
    • Cox Communications, the nation's third-largest cable company, says it will oppose Nexstar's (NXST -3.3%) $4.6B deal to acquire Media General (MEG -0.1%), heading to the FCC to complain and encouraging customer action as well.
    • “Nexstar should not be allowed to become a larger company, which would force more cable TV/satellite companies and ultimately customers to pay higher fees for retransmission consent," Cox said. "This merger is bad for business, bad for consumers and is not in the public interest."
    • A combined Nexstar Media Group would have 171 full-power broadcast stations, most in the country.
    • Cox and Nexstar also happen to be in a pitched retransmission fight that threatens a blackout without some progress by tomorrow's deadline. Nexstar sees a merger as a way to improve its scale and position in retransmission negotiations.
    • Previously: Meredith clears way; Nexstar to buy Media General in $4.6B deal (Jan. 27 2016)
    • Previously: Nexstar, Cox facing distribution deal deadline (Jan. 25 2016)
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 11:40 AM
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 6:08 PM
    • Of the media companies in a three-way M&A triangle, Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) fared the best today, moving up 5.1%, with no shortage of catalysts as it scored a $60M breakup fee along with first-look rights at some Media General (NYSE:MEG) assets, and posted an earnings beat in its Q2 results.
    • Nexstar (NASDAQ:NXST) -- which will now buy Media General for $4.6B -- closed down 4.6%.
    • Asked about other M&A possibilities for Meredith on its earnings call, CEO Steve Lacy hinted at staying tuned. "The television M&A world ... is going to be a little quiet till we get through the [spectrum] auction."
    • "I love our position, with very, very low leverage and really cheap debt," he noted. In addition to that, though, "we have some digital assets that we're interested in. One of them interestingly enough would be beneficial for our Local Media and our National Media business and we're going to be presenting a couple of them to our board this coming weekend."
    • The dividend is "very attractive" yielding almost 5%, and buybacks are on the horizon as well, says CFO Joe Ceryanec: "We have not been able to buy our shares back while we've been under the merger agreement and now that's behind us."
    • Previously: Meredith up 3.2%; profits beat as nonpolitical ad revenues grow (Jan. 27 2016)
    • Previously: Meredith clears way; Nexstar to buy Media General in $4.6B deal (Jan. 27 2016)
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 6:08 PM
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 9:03 AM
    • As expected, Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) has agreed to terminate its agreement to be bought by Media General (NYSE:MEG), clearing the way for a definitive deal for Nexstar Broadcasting (NASDAQ:NXST) to buy Media General at a higher price.
    • Nexstar has an agreement to pay $4.6B in cash and stock to create the Nexstar Media Group. Media General is up 2.1% premarket.
    • Meredith will receive $60M in cash and the right to negotiate for some Media General assets as part of its breakup deal.
    • Nexstar will acquire all shares of Media General for $10.55/share in cash and 0.1249/share of Nexstar Class A common stock for each MEG share, along with a contingent value right tied to any proceeds Media General sees from the FCC broadcast incentive auction.
    • "While we still believe in the strategic and financial benefits a merger with Media General (MEG) would have created, we are pleased with the financial benefits of the termination agreement and the shareholder value created," says Meredith chief Stephen Lacy.
    • Previously: Bloomberg: Meredith set to allow Nexstar-Media General deal (Jan. 26 2016)
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 9:03 AM | 4 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 26, 12:02 PM
    • Negotiations between Meredith (MDP +1.4%) and Media General (MEG +2.7%) are moving along, Bloomberg reports, with Meredith close to being ready to walk away from their merger deal and allow Nexstar (NXST +2.7%) to buy Media General.
    • Meredith is nearing a deal for a $60M breakup fee with no extra money, with an announcement that could come tomorrow along with Meredith's earnings.
    • Nexstar has offered to buy Media General for about $2.3B, but that deal can't move ahead until Meredith releases Media General from its own deal to buy Meredith for $2.4B.
    | Tue, Jan. 26, 12:02 PM
  • Sun, Jan. 24, 1:27 PM
    • John Stewart Bryan III, longtime chairman of the board at Media General (NYSE:MEG), has died, the company says.
    • Bryan, 77, died due to neck-injury complications from a fall he sustained on Jan. 15.
    • Bryan had spent more than 50 years in the local media business and was elected to the board at Media General in 1974. He became vice chairman and executive VP in 1985, and chairman, president and CEO in 1990.
    | Sun, Jan. 24, 1:27 PM
  • Fri, Jan. 15, 7:35 PM
    • Media General (MEG -1.5%) and NBC (CMCSA -2.1%) have announced a renewal of their affiliation agreement in 13 markets.
    • Media General's NBC stations get synchronized under a common agreement, now including affiliates in a number of states (Florida, Ohio, Texas, Michigan, Virginia, Kansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Iowa and Massachusetts).
    • Meanwhile, in a strange turn, Media General's WNCN in Raleigh, N.C., has changed affiliation to CBS (CBS -1.8%) from NBC -- while the market's former CBS affiliate, Capitol Broadcasting's WRAL, is taking over the NBC affiliation.
    • It's a bit of a swap, though not a transaction between NBC and CBS. One factor Variety points to is a dispute over how much CBS should have gotten from WRAL in reverse compensation -- a factor that had previously led CBS to switch affiliates in Indianapolis.
    • NBC, meanwhile, tells Variety it got beachfront property, saying WRAL is "without doubt one of the most powerful and highly rated affiliates in the nation."
    | Fri, Jan. 15, 7:35 PM
  • Mon, Jan. 11, 9:17 AM
    | Mon, Jan. 11, 9:17 AM
  • Fri, Jan. 8, 3:59 PM
    | Fri, Jan. 8, 3:59 PM
  • Thu, Jan. 7, 9:53 AM
    • With Media General (MEG +3.4%) and Nexstar (NXST -4.5%) apparently coming to terms of a Nexstar buyout of MEG for around $17.66/share, Meredith Corp. (MDP -1.6%) -- which had a merger agreement in place with Media General -- has proposed a merger amendment to keep its deal alive.
    • Meredith says it's offering a "merger of equals" with more than $20/share in near-term value to MEG shareholders, including $3.90/share in cash (about $510M total), a share of "Meredith Media General" for each MEG share (implied pro forma equity value of $14.94/share based on a 9x EBITDA multiple) and a CVR for the value of Media General spectrum in the FCC's incentive auction.
    • The company also says that "Meredith Media General" would pay an annual dividend starting at $0.68/share. Media General shareholders would have 50.2% of the new company and Meredith shareholders would get $14.95/share in cash (total proceeds of about $685M).
    • Meredith has canceled its planned presentation today at the Citi Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference.
    • So far, Meredith has been unwilling to cancel the existing merger agreement -- a necessary precondition to Nexstar buying Media General. That unwillingness is prompting Media General to call a shareholder meeting to vote on the Meredith deal as soon as possible.
    • Previously: NXST -5.8%, MEG +2.4% as Media General says it's reached $17.66/share terms (Jan. 07 2016)
    | Thu, Jan. 7, 9:53 AM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Jan. 7, 9:40 AM
    • Media General (NYSE:MEG) says it's completed negotiating terms for a takeover by Nexstar Broadcasting (NASDAQ:NXST) that include cash, stock and contingent value rights that would come to $17.66/share before the CVR.
    • MEG is up so far amid a sea of red, +2.4%. NXST is 5.8% lower.
    • Media General says the terms include $10.55/share in cash, along with 0.1249 of a share of Nexstar class A common stock per MEG share. The CVR entitles MEG shareholders for net cash tied to the sale of the company's spectrum in the March 29 broadcast incentive spectrum auction (adjustable for Nexstar's proceeds).
    • Media General believes its spectrum assets could be worth up to $4.29/share after taxes. Overall, the deal values MEG at 10.7x 2014-2015 average annual adjusted EBITDA.
    • To go through, the company notes, its agreement to merge with Meredith Corp. (MDP -2.1%) would have to be terminated first, and it's still currently in effect. Nexstar says it's looking forward to signing a definitive deal with Media General after the Meredith deal is terminated.
    • "This would be a great deal for both MEG and NXST," says SA contributor Andrew Walker of Rangeley Capital. "MEG shareholders realize a full and fair value for their shares, while NXST should benefit from significant upside from the synergies in combining the two companies. The ball is now in Meredith’s court."
    • Previously: Bloomberg: Nexstar may make formal Media General offer today (Dec. 31 2015)
    • Previously: Media General, Nexstar up on reports of $17.50/share deal talks (Dec. 23 2015)
    | Thu, Jan. 7, 9:40 AM
  • Mon, Jan. 4, 6:05 PM
    • Media General (MEG -1.7%) has grabbed an ABC affiliation for its Tri-Cities station, operating out of Johnson City, Tenn.
    • The company already operates 12 other ABC affiliates. ABC had affiliated with WKPT in that market previously, but as of Feb. 1 it will ally with Media General.
    • In the Tri-Cities market, Media General also owns and operates WJHL as a CBS affiliate.
    | Mon, Jan. 4, 6:05 PM
  • Dec. 31, 2015, 9:27 AM
    • With the year winding up, Nexstar Broadcasting (NASDAQ:NXST) is set to put finishing touches on its offer to acquire Media General (NYSE:MEG) as soon as today, Bloomberg reports -- a move that will kick off a short window for a possible counterbid by Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP).
    • Media General had agreed to acquire Meredith for $2.4B in September before Nexstar (pressed on by prominent shareholders) pursued its own bid for Media General. And Media General rejected an initial bid of $16.31/share from Nexstar a couple of weeks ago.
    • Nexstar is now firming up a $2.2B offer (about $17.50/share) in cash (60%) and stock, and when it and Media General come to agreement, Meredith will get at least four business days to come around with an intent to match or raise the bid.
    • A Nexstar-Media General deal couldn't be completed until the existing Media General-Meredith deal is terminated either voluntarily or by a shareholder vote that is six weeks away.
    • Updated 10:15 a.m.: MEG is now up 3.6%; NXST is down 1.4% and MDP down 1.6%.
    • Previously: Media General, Nexstar up on reports of $17.50/share deal talks (Dec. 23 2015)
    • Previously: Meredith +3.4% as Gabelli upgrades; MEG, NXST also rising (Dec. 16 2015)
    | Dec. 31, 2015, 9:27 AM
  • Dec. 23, 2015, 2:31 PM
    • Talks may be unstuck between Nexstar Broadcasting (NASDAQ:NXST) and Media General (NYSE:MEG), as the two are discussing a deal in which Nexstar buys Media General for about $17.50/share, Reuters is reporting.
    • The discussions hit a stalemate earlier this month when Media General rejected an offer of about $16.31/share in cash and stock, and counter-offered $18.61/share.
    • MEG is up 3% to $15.97; NXST is up 3.1% to $57.74. Meanwhile, Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP), having already agreed to a $2.4B takeover by Media General, has dipped back into the red, -0.2%.
    • If completed, a $17.50/share deal for Media General would be a $2B deal creating the nation's No. 2 local TV broadcaster. Another source says that Meredith -- whose purchase will be canceled with a NXST/MEG deal -- will be able to respond to Nexstar's offer and is already talking with Media General about its options.
    | Dec. 23, 2015, 2:31 PM
  • Dec. 16, 2015, 10:49 AM
    • A linked trio of media stocks on the move today: Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP), the subject of a pursuit by Media General (NYSE:MEG), is up 3.4% while Media General is up 3%.
    • Nexstar (NASDAQ:NXST), which interrupted with its own hostile bid for Media General, is up 3.9%.
    • Gabelli has bumped Meredith to Hold after noting the stock has been resilient amid the burgeoning M&A drama between Media General and Nexstar.
    • Offers and counteroffers in Nexstar's bid for Media General have hinged on stock: Nexstar's offer of $11/share in cash and 0.1024 shares of NXST (about $16.31/share total) vs. Media General's counter of $11/share cash and 0.135 shares of NXST (about $18.61/share).
    • Meredith dipped yesterday, for which Gabelli's Barry Lucas blames "anticipation of either a hostile bid for Media General from Nexstar and/or an expectation that Meredith makes an outright bid for Media General above Nexstar’s last reported offer" -- two scenarios in which Meredith loses.
    • He's rating Hold to wait on further news and the firm has suggested an alternative: With Meredith having last call after a competing bid for Media General, Meredith could bid about $19/share ($10/share cash, 0.2 shares of MDP) for Media General.
    | Dec. 16, 2015, 10:49 AM | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 10, 2015, 11:01 AM
    • The NY Post reports Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST +3.3%) is willing to take its battle for Media General (MEG +3.5%) to the boardroom if its overtures continue to be spurned. The Dec. 28 start of Media General's board nominations are reportedly being eyed.
    • A tangled web: The Post adds Media General "has been delaying" Nexstar on the hope Meredith, which Media General has struck a $2.4B deal to acquire, would offer to buy Nexstar. However, Meredith has reportedly been struggling to put a deal together.
    • Shortly after the WSJ reported as much, Nexstar announced yesterday Media General had rejected a $16.31/share cash/stock bid and made an $18.61/share counteroffer. Nexstar added it's also offering Media General shareholders the right to proceeds from a pending spectrum auction that could yield ~$1.50/share.
    • Media General responded with a statement asserting Nexstar's proposal still "materially undervalues" the company, and that it's not clear if Nexstar's current bid is its best and final offer. Activist Starboard Value has been pushing Media General to talk with Nexstar.
    | Dec. 10, 2015, 11:01 AM
  • Dec. 8, 2015, 7:10 PM
    • The WSJ reports Media General (NYSE:MEG) has rejected a revised $16.30/share bid from Nexstar Broadcasting (NASDAQ:NXST), and made an ~$18.60/share counteroffer. Talks are said to have hit an impasse.
    • Nexstar made a (rejected) $14.50/share bid in September. Its most recent offer reportedly featured both more cash and stock than the prior bid.
    • MEG +0.7% after hours to $14.68.
    • Prior MEG/NXST coverage
    | Dec. 8, 2015, 7:10 PM
Company Description
Media General Inc is a provider of news, information and entertainment across network-affiliated television stations, digital media and mobile platforms, serving consumers and advertisers in local markets in the Southeastern United States.