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TV Companies Media General and New Young Broadcasting to Merge

The combined company will reach 14 percent of U.S. television households.

Media General, owner of 18 network-affiliated TV stations, will acquire New Young Broadcasting, a privately held company that owns or operates a dozen stations, the two companies said Thursday.

Media General, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MEG, will use stock to purchase New Young. News of the merger sent shares of Media General soaring 26 percent in mid-day trading.

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The combined company, to retain the name Media General, will operate in 27 markets and reach 16.5 million households, or about 14 percent of all U.S. television households.

After the merger, Media General will consist of 11 stations affiliated with CBS, nine with NBC, seven with ABC, one with Fox, 1 with CW and one with MyNetworkTV.

Terms of the deal will give New Young shareholders majority ownership though Media General will have the majority of board seats and its CEO, George Mahoney, will be CEO of the combined company, which will be headquartered in Richmond, Va.