Lincoln Financial selling stations

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PHILADELPHIA -- Lincoln Financial Group is getting out of the television and radio business.

The Philadelphia-based financial services company said Monday it is selling all three of its TV stations, as well as its sports syndication business, to Raycom Media Inc. for $583 million in cash.

Separately, Lincoln said it has reached an agreement to sell its three radio stations in Charlotte, N.C., to Greater Media Inc. for $100 million in cash, and will "explore options" to divest its other radio holdings.

Lincoln said it will use the proceeds to reduce debt and repurchase stock. The transactions, subject to regulatory approval, are expected to close by the second quarter of 2008.

Lincoln is primarily known as a financial services company, but one of its subsidiaries, Lincoln Financial Media, owns and operates TV stations in Charlotte, Richmond, Va., and Charleston, S.C.; 18 radio stations; and the Lincoln Financial Sports production and syndication business.

With 42 TV stations in 18 states, Montgomery, Ala.-based Raycom is one of the nation's largest broadcasters. Braintree, Mass.-based Greater Media owns 20 radio stations in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Jersey.

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