Bob Prather Resigns As Gray President-COO

CEO Hilton Howell takes on the additional title of president as Prather leaves the 17th largest station group without an explanation. "I want to thank Bob Prather for his service to the company," Howell says in a prepared statement.

Robert Prather is out as president and COO of Gray Television, which he and partner J. Mack Robinson took over in 1994 and built into a major group (No. 17 on the TVNewsCheck Top 30 Station Groups ranking) through a series of acquisitions.

In a terse announcement, the publicly traded company said that Prather has resigned from “all positions” and that that CEO Hilton Howell will assume the title of president. Howell is Robinson’s son-in-law.

Said Howell in a statement: “I want to thank Bob Prather for his service to the company. As we continue to move ahead, I am looking forward to continuing to work closely with our corporate leadership team, as well as all the other members of Gray’s outstanding operational leadership team at our television stations.

“This is an exciting and dynamic time in the television broadcasting industry, and after our record year in 2012 we continue to be on track for a very solid year in 2013.”

Prather was the subject of a TVNewsCheck profile just last month.


Comments (9)

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Brad Dann says:

June 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm

They’re officially for sale

Joanne McDonald says:

June 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Maybe Raycom can buy all of Gray Television stations in all the TV markets and spin off all the FOX stations they owned in the markets where Gray owned stations there over to it’s American Spirit division.

    Joanne McDonald says:

    June 22, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Lin: WIFR(maybe to Meredith), WNDU(maybe to Meredith), WILX(maybe to Meredith), KXII, KWTX/KBTX, WEAU(maybe to Meredith), WMTV(maybe to Meredith), WSAW(maybe to Meredith)

    Media General: WVAW LD/WAHU CD/WCAV, WHSV/WSVF CD, WSAZ, WTAP/WOVA LD/WIYE LD

    Meredith: KKTV, KKCO, WIFR(maybe to Lin), WIBW, KAKE/KUPK/KLBY, WILX(maybe to Lin), KSNB(Pappas may want this station back in the future if possible), KOLN/KGIN, KNPL LD, WOWT, KOLO, WVLT(maybe to Raycom), WEAU(maybe to Lin), WMTV(maybe to Lin), WSAW(maybe to Lin)

    Raycom: WTVY/WRGX LD, WJHG/WECP LD, WRDW, WCTV, WSWG, WBKO, WKYT, WYMT, WTOK, WITN, WVLT(maybe to Meredith)

    Keith ONeal says:

    June 22, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    First you mention that the Wisconsin stations WEAU (Eau Claire), WMTV (Madison), and WSAW (Wausau) as maybe to Meredith, then later on you mention these same stations as maybe to Lin. I don’t think that Gray will sell off these top performing stations in these markets.

    Joanne McDonald says:

    June 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Here is my idea of which broadcasters get which TV stations from Gray Television if Gray is officially for sale in my own simplier terms. Sorry the website doesn’t have all the commenters being able to post the comments in paragraph form.

    Here is what I would like to see with the Gray Television stations:

    Media General: WVAW LD/WAHU CD/WCAV, WHSV/WSVF CD, WSAZ, WTAP/WOVA LD/WIYE LD

    Meredith: KKTV, KKCO, WIBW, KAKE/KUPK/KLBY, KSNB(Pappas may want this station back in the future if possible), KOLN/KGIN, KNPL LD, WOWT, KOLO

    Raycom: WRDW, WBKO, WKYT, WYMT, WTOK, WITN

    Lin or Meredith: WIFR, WNDU, WILX, WEAU, WMTV, WSAW

    Lin or Nexstar: KXII, KWTX/KBTX(maybe to Nexstar but with giving KYLE to Drewy for KRHD LD in Bryan/College Station with KYLE becoming KRHD with ABC on channel 28 under Drewy with KXXV from Waco and KRHD LD becoming KYLE LD with FOX on channel 40 under Mission/Nexstar with KWKT from Waco (KBTX could run KWKT/KYLE LD on the DT3 subchannel in 480i 4:3 widescreen standard definition television))

    Media General or Raycom: WTVY/WRGX LD, WJHG/WECP LD, WCTV, WSWG

    Meredith or Raycom: WVLT

    Keith ONeal says:

    June 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    First you say that WEAU/WMTV/WSAW as maybe to Meredith or Lin. Then, after I replied to your comment, you replied back saying those stations as maybe to Lin or Nexstar. Gray should keep their stations. The last thing I need is for WEAU (the station I grew up with, even though I live in Orlando now) going to Nexstar!

Bill Vernon says:

June 22, 2013 at 8:42 am

first off James, your speculation is not on par for starters and I really really don’t know if Gray Television is up for sale and second of all Gray owns WIBW-TV in Topeka and if WIBW merges with KSNT/KTMJ/KTKA, one of the stations has to be put up for sale and not be owned and or operated by LIN Media.
and second, your tirades have been nothing but a whole lot of non sense. If you want to speculate on what station goes to what broadcasting company and what ifs, then please for everyones sake, please use paragraphs.

    Keith ONeal says:

    June 24, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Amen! BTW, are you the Tripp that runs RabbitEars.info? Great site!

Rachel Martin says:

June 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Grays profit margin and recent ability to pay off debt and refinance has put them in position to gooble up smaller station(s). They need to move with faster speed on the aquisition front…that is what the shuffle at the top seems to imply


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