RICHMOND, Va. – Media General Inc. said Monday that it is reorganizing to focus on its core television broadcasting business after the June sale of the majority of its newspapers.
The company said it will combine five regional divisions into two. Each new division will oversee nine stations. With the exception of a station in Rhode Island and another in Ohio, all are in the southeast.
The Richmond, Va.-based company agreed in May to sell 63 newspapers to World Media Enterprises Inc., a division of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The $142 million deal was completed in June. Media General still owns The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) and smaller newspapers in that market. It is in talks to sell those newspapers to other buyers. Once the newspapers are sold, Media General will operate as a pure broadcasting company.
The company announced a number of management changes as it reorganized operations. Its board of directors elected James R. Conschafter and John R. Cottingham corporate vice presidents. Each will lead one of the two new geographic divisions.
Conschafter joined the company in 2000. He was most recently president and market leader of the company’s Virginia-Tennessee unit. Cottingham joined Media General in 2001 and was most recently president and market leader of its mid-South division.
Media General said the three other heads of its former regional divisions will remain with the company in roles to be announced.
John A. Schauss, Media General’s vice president-market operations, is retiring. The company said it will not fill his position.
Media General’s stock fell 19 cents, or more than 4 percent, to close at $4.42 on Monday.
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