Hearst finishes Birmingham, Savannah TV station buys

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 23 December 2014

Hearst Corp has completed acquisitions of TV stations in Birmingham, Ala. and Savannah, Ga.

The broadcast conglomerate has taken over Birmingham's NBC affiliate, WVTM-TV, Channel 13, from Media General, and Savannah's ABC affiliate, WJCL-TV, from LIN Media.

Birmingham is the 44th largest television market and Savannah is the 92nd largest. The acquisition increases Hearst Television's audience reach of US TV households to nearly 19%, and the reach of its NBC-affiliated stations to nearly 8%, across 11 markets.

Hearst also announced new management for the stations. Henry "Hank" Price, who has served since 2000 as president and general manager of Hearst's WXII-TV, the NBC affiliate in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem, N.C., TV market, will move to WVTM in the same role.

Tim Morrissey, most recently president and general manager of WCNC-TV, the Gannett-owned NBC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., will become president and general manager of WJCL; the move marks a return to Hearst for Morrissey, who in the mid-1980s served as news director at Hearst's WISN-TV in Milwaukee.

"Television stations with strong news brands attract the largest audiences," said Jordan Wertlieb, president at Hearst Television. "A dedication to quality local programming and community service will be our focus as we grow our audience in the region. Hank and Tim exemplify that dedication."