Hearst-Argyle to consider buyout offer


Hearst-Argyle Television’s board of directors has named two independent directors to a special committee to consider an offer by Hearst Corporation to buy out Hearst-Argyle’s public shareholders for 600 million bucks, or 23.50 per share. Hearst-Argyle’s stock price has shot up above that in anticipation of a higher bid. Serving on the special committee are David Pulver, who has been a director of Hearst-Argyle Television and a predecessor company, Argyle Television, since 1994, and who is President of Cornerstone Capital, a private investment firm; and Caroline L. Williams, a director of Hearst-Argyle Television and of Argyle Television, since 1994, and who is Director of Shareholder Activities for The Nathan Cummings Foundation, for which she previously served as Chief Financial and Investment Officer. The formal announcement was careful to note that the Hearst Corporation offer was not made pursuant to any agreement with Hearst-Argyle. "If Hearst Corporation does commence a tender offer, then within 10 business days following such commencement, Hearst-Argyle Television will advise stockholders of its position regarding the offer," the statement said.

RBR/TVBR observation: How are WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM Baltimore affected by the potential buyout of Hearst-Argyle’s public shareholders? Not at all, really. The AM-FM combo has long been owned by Hearst Corporation and they were the only radio properties that the company did not sell off. They are still owned by Hearst Corporation, not Hearst-Argyle, although they have been managed by Hearst-Argyle under an LMA since Hearst Corporation merged its TV group with Argyle Television in 1997.