Tom Benson’s Louisiana Media Company completes sale of majority interest of WVUE FOX 8 to Raycom Media
New Orleans, La. – Tom Benson has announced that Louisiana Media Company has completed the sale of majority ownership in WVUE FOX 8 to current partner Raycom Media.
Since 2013 Louisiana Media Company and Raycom Media had a shared service agreement which allowed Raycom Media to provide operational services for the station under the control of Louisiana Media.
Benson purchased WVUE Fox 8 in May of 2008 from Emmis Communications with the stated intention of making the station the top news station in New Orleans and accomplished that goal, leaving the station under Raycom’s ownership under much better condition than when he first owned it. His first plan was to put in place a top-rated management team. He then attracted several talented broadcasters from competing stations in the market, identified up-and-coming reporters for its news, weather and sports operations and also retained key journalists that were already at WVUE FOX 8.
Through the investment in WVUE FOX 8’s facilities, journalism operation and attracting and retaining top-notch talent, the station enjoyed significant ratings increases as well as receiving numerous honors for programming and investigative reporting, including a George Foster Peabody Award, two Dupont Awards and eight national Edward R. Murrow Awards. 2016 and 2017 have marked new highs for WVUE FOX 8, with the station capturing the late night news (9 p.m. and 10 p.m.) Nielsen ratings during the crucial May, 2016 sweeps period, repeating the first place finish in 2017. In February, 2017, the FOX 8 Morning Edition program captured more viewers than any other local morning newscast and it continues to be New Orleans’ fastest growing newscast in the morning segment. The station was honored with 11 Regional Murrow Awards in April, including the prestigious Overall Excellence Award, qualifying them to compete for national Murrow Awards in the 11 categories.
“Through investment in WVUE FOX 8 both in facilities and in support of the station’s news operation and the hard work, commitment and dedication of an outstanding staff we have been able to accomplish the goals of both growing our viewership in becoming an award-winning leader in local television and being of great service to the viewers in the New Orleans market,” said Benson. “When we first purchased the station in 2008, just like our community after Hurricane Katrina, this station faced several challenges. The hard work of the management and staff at WVUE 8 allowed us to meet these challenges head on and make it a leader in our community, both in ratings and the quality journalism that has been provided.”
“Raycom has been an excellent partner in operating the station and I am confident that with the combination of their leadership and the enormous contributions of the staff at the station, it will continue to grow and have a healthy and influential future in the New Orleans market. I wish them the best moving forward. I will continue to be one of the station’s biggest supporters as I look forward to seeing the station continue to grow and becoming an even bigger leader in our market.”
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