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Insurer To Sell Some JP TV And Radio Stations

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Lincoln National Corp. has announced deals to sell several radio, television and sports syndication operations.

Raycom Media Inc., Montgomery, Ala., plans to pay $583 million in cash to buy a sports syndication business and three TV stations from Lincoln, Philadelphia.

The TV stations are in Charlotte, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Charleston, S.C.

Another company, Greater Media Inc., Braintree, Mass., has agreed to pay $100 million in cash for three radio stations that Lincoln owns in Charlotte.

Lincoln hopes to close on the sports syndication deal in early December and the broadcast sales, which are subject to government approval, by June 30, 2008.

Lincoln says it will use the proceeds from the deals to pay off debt and buy back shares of stock.

Lincoln acquired the media and sports syndication properties in 2006, when it acquired Jefferson Pilot Corp., Greensboro, N.C.

Jefferson Pilot started getting into the broadcasting business in the 1970s, as a hedge against inflation.

Lincoln says it wants to sell more of the Jefferson Pilot radio and TV stations.

“The company will continue to operate and invest in its remaining radio properties to improve value and will explore options to divest those assets as market conditions dictate,” Lincoln says.

After Lincoln completes the Greater Media deal, it will still have 15 other radio stations.

Lincoln in general appears to have a “solid growth outlook,” Andrew Kligerman, a securities analyst at UBS Investment Research, New York, writes in a comment on the company’s recent investor day conference.

Lincoln could end up buying retail investment management operations, especially those with bank distribution strength, Kligerman writes.


Kicker: Sold

Raycom is buying:

- WCSC-TV in Charlotte, N.C.

- WBTV-TV in Charlotte

- WWBT-TV in Richmond, Va.

- Lincoln Financial Sports, which syndicates college football and basketball games

Greater Media is buying

- WBT-AM in Charlotte, a news and talk station.

- WBT-FM in Charlotte, which simulcasts the programming of WBT-AM.

- WLNK-FM in Charlotte, the home station of the Bob and Sheri Show


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