WISH-TV Channel 8 appears to be on solid ground going into a merger of its parent, LIN Media, with Media General Inc.
The CBS affiliate is one of 49 stations owned by Providence, R.I.-based LIN, which will combine with Media General in a $1.6 billion deal announced last month.
The new company will take the Media General name and be based in Richmond, Va. But it will be led by LIN CEO Vince Sadusky.
“We expect to maintain a significant corporate and operational presence in Austin, Providence and Indianapolis,” Sadusky said in a recent memo to LIN employees.
Few may realize that WISH conducts a number of back office operations for LIN, and that its facility on Meridian Street also conducts video switching and other production work for LIN stations in several states.
It’s unclear at this point whether WISH could land more work for the new network of 74 stations in 46 markets.
The LIN-Media General deal is the latest in a series of consolidations in the industry. Large station groups can centralize some operations, providing economies of scale. Perhaps most important, a larger size can give station groups more leverage at the bargaining table with cable and satellite providers, which pay fees for the right to carry their programming.