Nexstar Buys Media General Station

WCWJ-TV marks group’s Florida invasion
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Nexstar Broadcasting Group is buying WCWJ-TV in Jacksonville, Fla., from Media General. Deal terms were not disclosed, but Media General (NYSE: MEG) estimated the total proceeds from selling five stations, of which WCWJ is the last, to be around $100 million.

Perry Sook, chief of Nexstar (NASDAQ: NXST), said the purchase price was “less than five times 2009 projected cash flow,” and would impact Nexstar’s operating results immediately.

“The station will benefit from the addition to Nexstar’s retransmission consent agreements with cable operators, direct broadcast satellite providers and telcos,” Sook said. “Like other recently completed transactions, the acquisition of WCWJ allows Nexstar to expand and diversify its station portfolio while simultaneously de-leveraging the balance sheet.”

WCWJ is the CW affiliate in Jacksonville, the 47th largest TV market in the country. The purchase puts Irving, Texas-based Nexstar’s station total at 52 and marks the company’s entry into Florida. Nexstar closed on KWBF-TV in Little Rock, Ark., earlier this month with the intent to rebrand the station KARZ-TV on Feb. 1.Nexstar took that station from Equity Broadcasting, which filed for Chapter 11 last month and was dropped from th NASDAQ June 16.

Pending FCC approval, the transaction is expected to close at the end of this summer.

Media General, located in Richmond, Va., last year sold WTVQ-TV in Lexington, Ky.; WMBB-TV in Panama City, Fla.; KALB/NALB-TV in Alexandria, La., and WNEG-TV in Toccoa, Ga. The company today reported a 4Q loss of $85.5 million on revenues of $207 million; and a full 2008 loss of $632 million on revenues of more than $800 million for the year.