Media General Agrees to be Sold to Texas Television Giant 

Deal comes days after death of its company leader, J. Stewart Bryan III.

click to enlarge J. Stewart Bryan III

Scott Elmquist

J. Stewart Bryan III

Update: 12:34 p.m. The Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that the headquarters of the new company will be in Irving, Texas and 80 Media General people in Richmond could be affected.

Longtime local news-gathering powerhouse Media General Inc. has agreed to be bought by Irving,Texas-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. for $4.6 billion, ending a bidding war for the Richmond-based broadcasting firm.

Media General announced its decision this morning, just hours before a memorial service was due to be held at The Commonwealth Club for J. Stewart Bryan, the chairman of Media General who died Saturday at age of 77 of medical complications from a fall.

The pending deal puts in question whether the new firm will have much of a presence in Richmond, where Media General dates back decades and formerly owned the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The newspaper is reporting that the combined firm will be headquartered in Texas and that the fate of the Media General headquarters building is not known. About 80 Media General corporate employees work locally and some may be offered jobs with the new firm.

According to a press release from Media General, Nexstar will acquire all outstanding shares of Media General for $10.55 per share in cash and 0.1249 of a share of Nexstar common stock for each Media General share.

As part of this morning’s deal, Meredith Corporation of Iowa will drop its bid for Media General. Nexstar came in with a richer offer after Meredith made its pitch last year. It wasn’t apparent whether Bryan’s death affected the timing and outcome of Nexstar’s takeover victory.

The new company will have 171 television stations in 100 markets along with digital platforms.

The news is a major, and perhaps last, step in Media General’s long history. In 2012, it sold all but one of its financially struggling newspapers, including the Times-Dispatch, to Berkshire Hathaway, a firm owned by billionaire Warren Buffett.

The company was increasing its purchases of television stations across the country, boosting its stock price from the low single digits to more than $16 a share.

The Bryan family has played a strong role in shaping the city’s and state’s politics and economics. While supporting such Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writers as Virginius Dabney, the family also backed Massive Resistance, a plan to shun court-ordered racial integration in the 1950s.


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Peter Galuszka

Connect with Style Weekly

Newsletter Sign-Up

The Flash
The Bite
The Scoop

Most Popular Stories

  • Title X Crisis

    Title X Crisis

    A look into the federal grant program and what its new restrictions could mean for Virginia’s family planning services.
    • Sep 17, 2019
  • Mayor Fires Chief Administrative Officer

    Mayor Fires Chief Administrative Officer

    Inspector general report finds issues with the hiring of family members at City Hall.
    • Sep 18, 2019
  • Finding Beulah

    Finding Beulah

    A bestselling novelist digs into a sensational local murder trial from 1911 and gives a voice to the 17-year-old victim lost in the middle.
    • Sep 17, 2019
  • A Mystery and a Mission

    A Mystery and a Mission

    The quest by Regina Boone, daughter of the founder of the Richmond Free Press, to find out what happened to her Japanese grandfather after World War II.
    • Sep 10, 2019
  • More »

Copyright © 2019 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation