DES MOINES, Iowa-- A Virginia based media company is buying Meredith Corporation. Media General has agreed to pay $2.4 billion in cash and stock plus take on Meredith's debt.
Meredith officials say the deal will create a bigger, stronger company. Meredith Media General will be the third largest owner of local TV stations with 88 stations in 54 markets across the country. It will also provide a larger platform for the household magazine brand Better Homes and Garden.
“Meredith certainly has broadcast segment to it, but then it has a very extensive, strong , magazine media brand presence. The fact that a media general would be interested in combining with Meredith really shows the strength of that,” said Drake University Associate Professor Catherine Staub.
As for what the merger could mean for jobs in Des Moines, the company would only say that the "majority" of its nearly 1,000 employees are involved in the content end of the business or in supporting roles.
Meredith CEO Steve Lacy will stay on to lead Meredith Media General. In a statement, he said:
"We are excited about the opportunity to create a powerful new multi-platform and diversified media company with significant operations on the local and national levels. This merger will create a strong and efficient company positioned to realize the significant earnings and cash flow potential of local broadcasting; leverage the unparalleled reach and rich content-creation capabilities of Meredith's national brands; and capture the rapidly developing growth potential of the digital media space. It also positions Meredith Media General to deliver enhanced shareholder value and participate in future industry consolidation."
As part of the deal, Media General will take on Meredith's $772 million worth of debt.
The merger would have to be approved by both companies' Boards of Directors, shareholders and the FCC. The plan is for the sale to go through in June of next year.