DMA 97

Gray Buying CBS Affil WCAX Burlington,Vt.

The station group is paying $29 million to Mt. Mansfield Television for the station and expects the deal to close in the third quarter.

Gray Television said today that it has reached an agreement with Mt. Mansfield Television to acquire WCAX, the CBS affiliate in the Burlington, Vt.-Plattsburgh, N.Y., market (DMA 97) for $29 million.

“Gray is thrilled that the Martin family selected us as the new steward of Vermont’s very first television station,” said Kevin Latek, Gray’s EVP. “We will proudly build upon WCAX’s strong foundation and six decades of success as we expand into Vermont, northern New York and northern New Hampshire with another great leading local media institution.”

Peter Martin, the president of Mt. Mansfield, said: “WCAX is an integral part of the dynamic communities in which our family has lived, worked, and grown for decades. We welcome Gray to Vermont with the knowledge that its values, resources, and portfolio of similar stations will ensure that WCAX continues providing strong journalism, community leadership, and workplace excellence for many more decades to come.” Mt. Mansfield has no other TV station interests.

Gray said the deal advances its “transformative growth strategy as we continue to expand through select acquisitions of market-leading stations that share the culture and values of our existing television stations. Moreover, through this acquisition, Gray will enter another strong market that includes both the state capital of Montpelier as well as numerous colleges and universities such as the University of Vermont, SUNY-Plattsburg, and Dartmouth.”

The company added that including expected synergies, the transaction represents “an attractive purchase price multiple of less than 6.0 times expected blended 2016-2017 pro forma broadcast cash flow. We anticipate that the transaction will be leverage neutral, immediately free cash flow accretive, and funded primarily through the use of cash on hand at closing and, if necessary, borrowings under our existing senior credit facility. Subject to receipt of regulatory and other approvals, we expect to close the transaction in the third quarter of 2017.”

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Patrick Burns says:

May 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Great station and heritage, Hearst will keep Gray hopping though. Vt is an unusual DMA and VT as a state..
The state is part of the Burlington DMA, the Albany NY DMA and a fair piece of Boston.
All the money , power and viewing is from Burlington. But the demos are very old and the state like Maine & NY are losing population thru death and moves to Florida.
Canadian ad dollars use to be a big deal buy not as much lately.
No duopoly chances here so that is a negative for sure !!!
Comcast runs the interconnect here & it bills quite well so hope Gray had that in their figures.

Who’s next in their wish list ??

    John Livingston says:

    May 4, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    I think that Gray may buy a station in West Michigan either FOX17 that’s if Nexstar buys Tribune or if Nexstar buys TEGNA which owns WZZM in West Michigan I could see Gray trying to buy that station. I think there are a few TV station groups that would also try and buy WZZM Scripps, Meredith etc.

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