Montgomery, AL - WSFA's parent company, Raycom Media, has just completed acquisition of three dominant TV stations as part of its purchase of the Lincoln Financial Group's media holdings.
The largest market affected is Charlotte, North Carolina, a professional sports city, where television pioneer WBTV, an NBC affiliate, becomes a Raycom station. Charlotte is the 25th television market, with 1.08 million households.
Raycom also acquires a station in Virginia's rapidly growing capital city of Richmond, the nation's 60th market, with the purchase of CBS affiliate WWBT, and is represented in the exploding South Carolina coastal markets with the acquisition of WCSC-CBS in Charleston, also a top-100 market.
Here is the full press release from Raycom Media:
RAYCOM COMPLETES LINCOLN FINANCIAL GROUP TELEVISION PROPERTIES ACQUISITION
MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA and PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA (April 1, 2008) -- Privately held Raycom Media Inc. and Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) announced today that Raycom has completed the acquisition of Lincoln Financial Group's three network-affiliated television stations, including NBC affiliate WWBT in Richmond, Virginia, and CBS affiliates WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina, and WCSC in Charleston, South Carolina.
"These are excellent television stations that fit our strategy of growing our presence in thriving southern cities, state capitals and university towns," said Raycom CEO Paul McTear. "We are excited about the opportunity to build strong connections with these communities."
Raycom also announced the promotion of Nick Simonette to the position of Vice President and General Manager of WBTV. Simonette, who has been General Manager of Raycom station WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, replaces Mary MacMillan, who has held the WBTV position since 1998. Prior to joining Raycom in 2001, Simonette served in various news management capacities in San Antonio, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; and Cincinnati, Ohio.
"With Nick's leadership of WAFB for the last seven years, combined with his 30 years of news broadcasting experience, we're looking forward to building on WBTV's tradition of excellent regional and local news coverage," said McTear.
"For decades, WBTV has been committed to the Charlotte region and its viewers," said Simonette. "Our goal is to work with WBTV's talented team to make One Julian Price Place the hub of the region's most reliable news coverage."
The Retirement Systems of Alabama provided Raycom with 100 percent of the required outside financing for the Lincoln Financial Group transaction. "We are pleased to continue supporting Raycom, the largest media company headquartered in Alabama," said Dr. David G. Bronner, chief executive officer of the RSA. "We are eager to provide financing for those situations that fit the Raycom strategy."
On March 25, 2008, the FCC issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order permitting this transaction and granted a six-month temporary duopoly waiver concerning Raycom's ownership of WTVR - CBS in Richmond. Belmoro Corporate Advisors of Charlotte has been engaged to sell WTVR for Raycom. Belmoro's marketing efforts for WTVR are on-going. Interested parties can contact Belmoro at (704) 643-4148.
About Raycom Media Inc.
Raycom, an employee-owned company, is one of the nation's largest broadcasters and owns and operates 46 television stations in 18 states. Raycom stations cover more than 12 percent of U.S. television households and employ 3,760 individuals in full and part-time positions. In addition to television stations, Raycom owns Raycom Sports (a marketing, production and events management and distribution company in Charlotte); Raycom Post (a post production facility in Burbank, California), Broadview Media (a post production/telecommunications company based in Montgomery), and CableVantage (a cable advertising sales group based in Columbia, South Carolina).
Further information about Raycom can be found at the corporate website, http://www.raycommedia.com.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. With headquarters in the Philadelphia region, the companies of Lincoln Financial Group had assets under management of $237 billion as of December 31, 2007. Through its affiliated companies, Lincoln Financial Group offers: annuities; life, group life and disability insurance; 401(k) and 403(b) plans; savings plans; mutual funds; managed accounts; institutional investments; and comprehensive financial planning and advisory services. Affiliates also include: Delaware Investments, the marketing name for Delaware Management Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries; and Lincoln UK.
For more information, including a copy of our most recent SEC reports containing our balance sheets, please visit http://www.LincolnFinancial.com.
About The Retirement Systems of Alabama
The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) provides retirement and other benefits to the employees of state government, public education, and some local, county, public or quasi-public organizations or political subdivisions. The RSA is composed of the Employees' Retirement System (ERS), Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), and the Judicial Retirement Fund (JRF).