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Friday, March 13, 2009

Media General’s Washington News Bureau To Close March 27

Richmond, VA - Media General (NYSE: MEG) announced today that its Media General News Service Bureau in Washington, D.C., and the associated Web site,, will close on March 27.  The bureau employs six journalists, all of whom have been offered severance packages.

“We very much regret having to take this step,” said Graham Woodlief, president of the Publishing Division.  “However, as the economy continues to contract, and businesses and consumers continue to reduce spending, our advertising revenues have been adversely affected at unprecedented levels.  While the Publishing Division reduced expenses in 2008 by 8 percent, excluding severance, we must continue to find ways to align our costs with the available revenue.”

The Washington bureau has provided news and feature stories to all of Media General’s newspapers, television stations and Web sites for 30 years.  In 2008, the bureau was reorganized into a multi-media team to take a Web-First approach to reporting and launched a Web site featuring sections dedicated to each of the10 states in which Media General operates.

“Even with the strong efforts of our bureau staff to adapt to the challenging economic times, it was not enough.  I thank Marsha Mercer and her team for their fine work and dedication, and I salute all the excellent journalists who have worked in the bureau over the years.  The decision to close our bureau is very difficult, and parting with these valued journalists is even more painful in light of the strong contributions they have made to our communities,” said Mr. Woodlief.

Former Washington Bureau Chief John Hall, who retired in 2006, created the bureau in 1979 and expanded its staff and coverage.  Marsha Mercer has served as bureau chief since 2003.  For 30 years, many award-winning Washington-based Media General correspondents and columnists have written about national and international affairs, the White House and Congress, the military, regional and national politics and other issues that affect the communities where Media General operates.  The office is located in the National Press Building.

About Media General
Media General is a leading provider of local news, information and entertainment over multiple media platforms.  The company serves markets primarily in the Southeastern United States.  Media General publishes 24 daily newspapers, including The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal; and community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina; plus more than 250 weekly newspapers and other targeted publications.  The company owns and operates 19 network-affiliated television stations that reach approximately 30 percent of the television households in the Southeast and nearly 9 percent of those in the United States.  The company’s interactive media operations include Web sites and portals that are associated with each of its newspapers and television stations as well as with many specialty publications, and two growing interactive advertising services companies, Blockdot, Inc. and

Investor Contact:
Lou Anne Nabhan
(804) 649-6103

Media Contact:
Ray Kozakewicz
(804) 649-6748