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TVNewsCheck, TVWeek

Gray Television Completes $3.6 Billion Acquisition of Raycom

Jan 3, 2019  •  Post A Comment

Gray Television has completed its $3.6 billion acquisition of Raycom Media, and thus “Gray now owns the first or second highest rated television station in 85 markets, according to Comscore’s audience measurement data between December 2017 and November 2018,” notes a press announcement on the deal from Gray.

The announcement adds: “In total, Gray owns and/or operates television stations and leading digital properties in 91 television markets from Alaska and Hawaii to Maine and Florida. Collectively, these television stations broadcast almost 400 separate programming streams, including nearly 150 affiliates of the CBS/NBC/ABC/Fox networks.

“Upon the closing, Hilton Howell became Gray’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Pat LaPlatney, formerly Raycom’s President and Chief Executive Officer, became Gray’s President and Co-Chief Executive Officer. In addition, Pat and Raycom’s prior president and CEO, Paul McTear, joined Gray’s Board of Directors. Bob Smith, Gray’s Chief Operating Officer, Local Media, oversees station operations and reports to Pat.”

To close the deal Gray had to sell nine TV stations. Earlier, TVNewsCheck wrote the following about those transactions:

CBS affiliate WSWG Albany, Ga. was sold to Marquee Broadcasting. Also, “Lockwood Broadcasting has agreed to purchase Fox affiliates WTNZ in the Knoxville, Tenn., market (DMA 61), WFXG in Augusta, Ga. (DMA 112), WPGX in Panama City, Fla., (DMA 151) and WDFX in the Dothan, Ala., market (DMA 173).

“E.W. Scripps has agreed to purchase ABC affiliates KXXV-KRHD in the Waco, Texas, market (DMA 86) and WTXL in Tallahassee, Fla. (DMA 108).

“Tegna is buying CBS affiliate WTOL Toledo, Ohio (DMA 78), and NBC affiliate KWES Odessa-Midland, Texas (DMA 144).”

To see the complete, official press release on the Gray Television/Raycom deal, please click here.

2 Comments

  1. DANGER, Will Robinson !! Slowly, but surely, the FCC and Congress are allowing US Television, a licensed product which WAS designed to serve the public good, to become another major two, or three owner monopoly. It should scare EVERY believer in Free Speech, Democracy, AND Diversity in media to see this incredible take-over. And to those who argue that it is not the case because of all the other information streams, NONSENSE. Broadcast TV News is still a major source of power (and profit). If it weren’t, why would Gray (and Sinclair, and the other players) be willing to spend so much to gobble up all these broadcasters?? We are moving into the land of the MINISTRY of TRUTH on a daily basis. Part of what made America Great ( I mean the real “great”) was the diversity of opinions available in every US City. Now, we are confronted by a few companies which use their power to propagandize their corporate views and control information..kinda like Russia, and North Korea,and China…the ones with one major broadcaster. (And by the way…in the old days, if you didn’t get along working at one TV (or radio) outlet you could work somewhere else…now, it’s easy to be declared “persona non grata and never work in the business again.) WAKE UP, People. We are slipsliding into the land of dictatorial media control.

  2. I would ask everyone to check with their kids and their friends how often they watch local television. My kids and their friends don’t have cable or satellite or over the air and they aren’t interested in watching local television, because the quality of programs they want to watch are not on local television. Their biggest complaint is that there is not enough time to watch what is on HULU, Amazon and Netflix. And don’t forget that Disney will be delivering OTT later this year. I don’t see any growth in cable or Satellite television, in fact I see it diminishing quickly. I do see CBS desperately looking for a new alternative to Nielsen ratings because they are not getting numbers in the right demographics that provide the profits they want. All the networks are seeing this change in the audience and are moving to their own OTT delivery systems. But even more indicative of the loss of power of the local channels is the fact that Star Trek Discovery and The Good Fight is not being provided to local affiliates. However, the Super Bowl will be provided OTT. Why is there consolidation in the local broadcasters? Because it provides efficiencies, reducing costs, as Sinclair and the others have more leverage to use in negotiations with advertisers. Also, their news can become more regional, reducing the costs of multiple producers and reporters and anchors. It also allows more subcontracting, reducing costs of salaries and benefits. My brother works as a stringer for local channels in his regional area and he is not getting paid or the benefits that reporters associated with those channels are getting. As 5G gets rolled out and the baby boomers begin to reach the end, OTT will become more prevalent, and the local channels will become even less relevant.

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