TUPELO, Miss.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Heartland Media, LLC and MSouth Equity Partners have agreed to acquire the assets of television station WTVA, the NBC and ABC affiliate in Tupelo, Mississippi from WTVA, Inc. The acquisition will expand Heartland’s holdings to 5 stations. Other stations are located in Utica, New York, and Eugene, Medford, and Klamath Falls, Oregon. All are ABC network affiliates.
“We are excited about the opportunity to continue the excellent television service that have been provided for the past 57 years by the Spain family,” said Bob Prather, President and CEO of Heartland.
Prather, who makes his home in Atlanta, Georgia, is a longtime veteran of the newspaper and broadcasting industries, most recently serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of Gray Television, Inc. Under Prather’s leadership, Gray undertook an aggressive growth strategy in building a 41 station group, with the largest station in Knoxville, Tennessee (market 51).
“We believe Heartland sees the value in our broadcasting strategy and our excellent group of employees,” said Jane Spain, President and CEO of WTVA, Inc. “Heartland is particularly well suited to build on the service that WTVA has provided viewers in Northeast Mississippi and Northwest Alabama for over 5 decades.”
The transaction is subject to FCC approval, which is expected in early 2015. Until then, WTVA, Inc., will continue to operate the station.