Television group Raycom has found a way to clear up a required television divestiture in the Virginia capital – it’ll swap CBS WTVR-TV to Local TV for Fox WBRC-TV Birmingham AL. Raycom’s Paul McTear said the deal would be a relief to its Richmond employees, who had been living under the cloud of the unsettled ownership situation for some time, and it adds a key cog to the group’s Alabama operations. Bobby Lawrence likewise was happy about getting a heritage station in Virginia. The deal is expected to close in the first half of the year.
RBR/TVBR observation: This is a strategic transaction rather than a strict meeting of buyer and seller. We expect this type of deal will be the rule rather than the exception in 2009.