A television station sale has been agreed to that will result in 15 stations and $335 million changing hands. B&C reports that Gray Television and Excalibur Broadcasting agreed to acquire the stations from Hoak Media and Parker Broadcasting.
"Separately, Excalibur has agreed to acquire two Fox-affiliated television stations in one of the markets, Minot, N.D., served by Hoak from Prime Cities Broadcasting for $7.5 million," the report adds.
Gray President and CEO Hilton Howell said: "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the Hoak, Parker and Prime Cities television stations into the Gray community. These transactions will yield impressive synergies, many of which are unique to Gray given how well the stations’ locations, operations and culture complement our own."
The deal affects smaller markets, in the No. 105 to No. 108 range.
"Stations moving to Gray include KSFY-KABY-KPRY Sioux Falls, KVLY Fargo, WMBB Panama City (Fla.) and KALB Alexandria (La.). Due to regulatory requirements, Gray will sell Hoak’s stations in the Panama City and Grand Junction markets to one or more independent parties," the story reports.
The piece adds: "Excalibur, run by former Gray exec Don Ray, has reached separate definitive agreements with Hoak and Parker to acquire KHAS Lincoln (Neb.), KXJB Fargo, KAQY Monroe-El Dorado (La.) and KFQX Grand Junction (Colo.). Due to regulatory requirements, Excalibur will sell Parker’s television station in the Grand Junction market to an independent third party."
"Excalibur has also reached a definitive agreement with Prime Cities to acquire KNDX and satellite KXND in Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson (N.D.)," the report notes.
Said Eric Van den Branden, Hoak Media president and CEO: "Our cultures and operating philosophies are very similar, and we share a strong commitment to local news excellence and a deep sense of service to the communities in which our stations are located. We will clearly miss working with some of the most talented and dedicated people in broadcasting, but we know we leave our employees in capable hands with Gray Television."
The agreements are subject to regulatory approval, which is expected in the first or second quarter of 2014, the report notes.