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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Media General’s WJHL-TV Special on 50th Anniversary of Bristol Motor Speedway Airing on 80+ U.S. Stations

RICHMOND, Va. – Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG), a multimedia provider of broadcast television, digital media and print products, said today that WJHL-TV, its CBS affiliate in Johnson City, Tenn., has produced a nationally syndicated hour-long television special that chronicles the 50th Anniversary of the Bristol Motor Speedway, which is being celebrated this week.

“Bristol Turns 50: Half Century Half Mile” is one part of a multimedia celebration hosted by Media General’s WJHL-TV, the Bristol Herald Courier and that includes a commemorative hard cover book.  More than 80 television stations from Los Angeles to Alaska to the Caribbean are airing the special this week.

The special attracted a number of national advertisers and WJHL, the Bristol Herald Courier and used the Speedway’s anniversary as a means to go beyond the traditional coverage and create a multitude of special products and new revenue streams.

Jack D. Dempsey, president and general manager of WJHL-TV, said, “We were able to capture and present the legend and lore of the Bristol Motor Speedway for so many television markets. Almost half of the households in the United States will have access to this program.”

Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the most important venues in the sport and home to two of its biggest annual races. The WJHL special offers an inside look at NASCAR’s most exciting and challenging track and includes interviews with NASCAR legends Junior Johnson, Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace who talk about what made the Bristol Motor Speedway their favorite track. In the special, viewers can hear from current stars like Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, and Jamie McMurray about their experiences on the World’s Fastest Half Mile. Viewers can also hear from one of the original founders and current track ownership about how Bristol Motor Speedway got its start and how it has become the hottest ticket in NASCAR.    

The Bristol Herald Courier will produce a hard cover commemorative book told through the photos and stories from the newspaper over the last 50 years. Fans will be invited to submit photos for consideration at a scanning booth at the August 27 race. The book will be offered for pre-sale at $29.95 and retail at $39.95 with some proceeds going to local charities.

In addition to the book, the Herald Courier printed a special section this week: “The Top Ten Moments at Bristol Motor Speedway.” has reaped a national audience. In the weeks leading up to the celebration, race fans who visited the website have found  trivia, photo archives courtesy of the Bristol Herald Courier, and coverage by the sports teams of WJHL and the Herald Courier, including blogs, tweets, articles, and selected content from the one-hour TV special. 

The special will air Thursday, August 25 at 7 p.m. on WJHL.

About Media General
Media General is a leading provider of news, information and entertainment across multiple media platforms, serving consumers and advertisers in strong local markets, primarily in the Southeastern United States. The company is transforming itself over time to a digital media model, while continuing to effectively manage its larger, cash producing broadcast television and print platforms. Media General’s operations are organized in five geographic market segments and a sixth segment that includes the company’s interactive advertising services and certain other operations. The company’s operations include 18 network-affiliated television stations and their associated websites and 23 newspapers and their associated websites. Media General operates three digital media advertising services companies:  Blockdot, which specializes in interactive Entertainment and advergaming technologies;, a coupon and shopping website; and NetInformer, a leading provider of wireless media and mobile marketing services.

Media General Contact
Ray Kozakewicz
(804) 649 - 6748

WJHL-TV Contact
Toby Laek
(423) 232-6155