Media General, Inc., the owner of TBO.com, the Tampa Tribune and News Channel 8, today announced that it is exploring the potential sale of newspaper operations.
But the company would not say which of its 23 newspapers are for sale.
“Media General has indicated in recent months that it will consider asset sales at valuations that reflect the strength of its properties as a means of reducing total debt outstanding over time,” a news release states. “The company noted that the valuations of local media properties in recent merger and acquisition transactions, including local newspapers, have reflected the strong market positions of the entities being sold. Media General’s newspaper brands are the leading print products in their core markets.”
All of this comes on a day when Media General named Brad A. Moses president and general manager of WFLA-TV, Media General’s NBC affiliate in Tampa.
“I am pleased to bring such a talented broadcast professional back to our Tampa station,” said John Cottingham, president and market leader for Media General’s Mid-South Market and interim general manager for WFLA.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Eric Deggans reports that “staff at the TV station were told WFLA would get its ‘swagger’ back, disentangling much of its convergence connections to the Tribune. Moses’ hiring would seem a greater step in that direction, bringing in an executive with lots of experience leading TV stations at a time when competition among local television outlets has never been sharper.”
Because two plus two equals four, how can one conclude that the Tampa Tribune is not for sale?
Media General announces it will sell some of its newspapers. Media General brings in a new executive tasked with “disentangling” its television station from its newspaper.
2+2 =4. The Tampa Tribune is on the chopping block.
Update: Let me share with you what I am already hearing from the conspiratorialists: The Tampa Bay Times just sold off one of its major real estate holdings in St. Petersburg. The Tampa Tribune may be up for sale. Ergo, the Times will soon relocate to Tampa.