Gannett, Belo Stun with Acquisition News

Today’s announcement that Gannett is acquiring the Belo television stations was certainly not expected. Even with the increased activity of groups acquiring many medium and small market stations, and last week’s announcement that Media General and New Young Broadcasting was being combined, nobody was expecting today’s news.

According to the BIA/Kelsey revenue estimates, together Gannett and Belo will vault to number 3 among local television station groups in terms of 2012 advertising revenues, only exceeded by Fox and CBS. These two companies have been strong broadcasters for many years and both have been very aggressive in developing new products and services to offer both to their local viewing public and their local advertiser clients. Successes from both companies into these new areas will certainly be applied to all of their new markets.

All of this station sales activity comes at a time when there continues to be new and strong competition both for viewers and for advertisers. While that new competition is very challenging for local television stations, many have embraced these new opportunities to expand their own offerings. This activity appears to be a strong signal that local television stations will remain an important part of the local media marketplace.

And this mega deal will more than triple the Year to Date (through May) total of television station sales value as monitored by BIA/Kelsey and is made available at on our Media Trends webpage.

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