LIN TV Acquires Online Ad Company for $7.9 Million

PROVIDENCE, R.I.: LIN TV has acquired Red McCombs Media, an online advertising and media services outfit in Austin, Texas, for a reported $7.9 million. LIN (NYSE: TVL) owns NBC affiliate KXAN-TV and the CW, KNVA-TV, in Austin. The Austin Business Journal said the deal includes $1.2 million cash, $4.5 million in Class A shares of TVL and around $2.2 million in an unsecured promissory note.

Red McCombs sifts through demographic and behavioral consumer data to specifically target advertising and publishing to matching audiences. The Journal said it’s been listed as one of its fastest growing companies in Central Texas, and made Inc.’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing private firms. The company was started five years ago by Jon Flatt who later joined forces with Red McCombs.

“RM Media advances LIN’s transformation from a local broadcaster to a digital media company with a national footprint,” said Vincent Sadusky, LIN president and CEO. “RM Media was founded by innovative and entrepreneurial leaders who have a clear understanding of new media engagement and a first-to-market advantage.”

LIN owns and/or operates 27 network-affiliated TV stations in 17 markets and more than 50 interactive TV and niche Web sites and mobile marketing platforms.

More on LIN:
August 10, 2009: “LIN TV Launched on BlackBerry Devices”
LIN TV Corp extended its mobile TV offering to BlackBerry devices. LIN (NYSE: LIN) said it leveraged technology from News Over Wireless to develop custom BlackBerry smartphone applications for each of its 27 local TV stations.

August 6, 2009: “LIN TV Cuts Loss on Impairment”
LIN TV stations are feeling the effects of the economy and the absence of national elections as much as other stations across the country. LIN’s 27 stations generated $82.5 million during the second quarter, down 20 percent from $103.7 million a year ago. Net loss was $25.5 million, compared to nearly $216 million last year, which included a goodwill impairment of nearly $297 million on broadcast licenses. A goodwill impairment of nearly $39.9 million was taken during the most recent quarter.

April 30, 2009: “LIN TV Getting Into iPhones”
LIN TV will use the NOW technology to develop custom iPhone applications for each of its 27 local TV stations. The LIN iPhone app will have local news, sports and entertainment, video, weather forecasts and traffic reports. NOW is also designing the iPhone applications for LIN TV to include national and local advertising, providing new revenue stream opportunities.

April 14, 2009: “LIN TV, Belo Risk Breaching Loan Terms” LIN TV and Belo are at risk for breaching loan agreements, Bloomberg reported. Neil Begley of Moody’s told the news service that the broadcasters could fall out of covenant if earnings-to-debt ratios fall below the minimum required in their credit agreements. Executives at both TV groups said the expected to stay in compliance; LIN seeking amended terms if necessary, and Belo hoping it won’t be.

April 1, 2009: “LIN Posts $830 Million Loss on $1 Billion Charge”
LIN TV posted 2008 results in March that included one of the heftiest impairment charges by a TV group up to that point. LIN wrote down more than $1 billion for the year and took an additional restructuring charge of nearly $13 million.