Media General and LIN Media announced Friday that the two companies will merge to create the second largest television-only broadcasting company in the United States.
A joint statement said the combined company will keep the Media General name and that the headquarters will remain in Richmond, Va. LIN Media is based in Providence. The LIN CEO will become chief executive and CEO of the new company.
The merged company will operate 74 network affiliates in 46 television markets, reaching about 26.5 million households.
The deal is valued at $2.6 billion. The transaction is expected to close in early 2015.
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