Media companies E.W. Scripps Co. and Journal Communications Inc. are planning to merge, combine their newspaper and broadcast assets and then create a separate print company.
The new print company will be named Journal Media Group, with headquarters in Milwaukee, while the broadcast company will be absorbed into Cincinatti-based Scripps. The Scripps family will keep the title and control the E.W. Scripps Co. firm, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which is owned by Journal Communications Inc.
“As the latest milestone in our company’s history, this transaction will give us the opportunity to chart a course for future success of our print, broadcast and digital operations across the nation,” Journal Communications CEO Steven J. Smith said in a videotaped statement.
The transaction is slated to be completed in 2015, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.
In all, Journal Media will own and operate newspapers in 14 markets, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Memphis Commercial Appeal and The Washington Daily News. It will get a fresh start with no debt and $10 million in cash.
Meanwhile, Scripps will become the fifth largest independent TV group with 34 stations serving 27 TV markets, which will reach 18 percent of the nation’s households. It will also re-enter the radio market with Journal Communications’ 35 stations. The new broadcast company is expected to generate more than $800 million in revenue per year.
Scripps will continue ownership and the operation of the U.S. national spelling bee.
Time Warner, 21st Century Fox and Tribune have made similar moves to separate their print business from broadcast.
Watch Smith’s videotaped statement on the deal above.