Gray President-CEO Hilton Howell: “Our station footprint spans the entire U.S. and nearly all of the most politically contested areas in this cycle. We are therefore uniquely positioned to offer valuable, unbiased insights into how the makeup of Congress might shift this election.”
Cable operators not looking for a boost in broadcaster retrans leverage have told the FCC that Gray Television has not made a case for being allowed to own two of the top four stations in Honolulu. Gray is seeking to retain both stations in its deal to buy another high-rated station in the market. Gray in June struck a deal, subject to FCC approval, to buy Raycom for $3.6 billion.
The station group reups deals for stations in 26 markets that were set to expire at the end of this year.
The Central Texas College Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to move forward in assigning the broadcasting license of KNCT Waco, Texas, to Gray Television for $375,000. The college voted in February to pull the plug on the PBS station rather than move in the FCC’s spectrum repack. Gray also owns Waco CBS affiliate KWTX.
The CBS affiliate is being bought by Marquee Broadcasting, which already owns independent WSST in the market. The sale is the first of nine spin-offs of stations in duopoly markets that Gray pledged to make to clear the way at the FCC for its $3.6 billion aquisition of Raycom.
The Ohio news veteran will lead Gray’s CBS affiliate in Toledo, Ohio.
WFFP will be rebranded WZBJ and operated as a duopoly with Gray’s WDBJ.
The new 30,000-square-foot home under construction for WRDW-WAGT, Gray’s CBS-NBC duopoly in Augusta, Ga., will do more than house the latest tech and workflows, it will also serve as a “billboard” to remind the locals to tune in, as well as a classy venue for schmoozing Gray advertisers and investors, especially during the annual Masters golf tournament.
Gray EVP Kevin Latek said that Gray has received “very strong interest” in the nine stations that Gray said it would spin off from the Raycom merger to comply with the FCC local ownership limits. The interest has come from established broadcasters and new entrants. “We expect to finalize the divestiture agreements and get them to the FCC and the antitrust division for review by the end of this month.”
The increase to $250.3 million comes from higher retrans revenue and higher political ad money.