EARNINGS CALL

Gray Television Wants Respect From Wall Street

After the company reported third quarter results at the high end of its guidance to Wall Street today, the stock price opened at $18.15 and stayed above $18 for most of the day’s trading. Political advertising has outpaced expectations for Gray every quarter this year, despite the lack of a national election.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Gray 3Q Pro Forma Revenue Down 5%

An increase in retransmission consent revenue of $26 million, or 15%, to $196 million couldn’t quite offset lower advertising dollars. The company also authorizes a $150 million share repurchase.

TVN’S TV2020 CONFERENCE

Broadcasters Stress Need For Revenue Diversity

Broadcasters have natural revenue opportunities in business lines like OTT, podcasting and ATSC 3.0, said executives from Sinclair, E.W. Scripps, Gray and Bonneville Salt Lake at TVNewsCheck’s TV2020 conference.

TV Broadcasters, Syncbak Create OTT Innovation Alliance

Broadcast groups Morgan Murphy Media, Gray Television, Heritage Broadcasting and independent WFMZ Allentown, Pa., have formed the OTT Innovation Alliance, which plans to “create innovative ways to reach in- and out-of-market viewers using the power of OTT.” In partnership with Syncbak, a provider of live local OTT, the OTT Innovation Alliance plans to focus on […]

New Country Multiplatform Network From Gray, Opry Entertainment Group To be Named Circle

Opry Entertainment Group and Gray Television today announced their forthcoming media network dedicated to the country music lifestyle experience will be called Circle. As they explained the name: “Circle is a 360-degree media platform that will bring viewers into country music’s inner circle. The name is also a nod to the iconic wooden circle on the […]

Gray, Cox, Adopt Arc Publishing Platform

With these additions, Arc greatly expands its work in the broadcast industry, powering digital experiences and content creation for more than 200 broadcast stations in the U.S and Europe.

DMA 115: SIOUX FALLS, SD

FCC Approves Gray’s Top 4 Duop in Sioux Falls

Gray gets the go-ahead to buy the NBC affiliate and operate it with the ABC affiliate it already owns in the South Dakota market. The action, in essence, constitutes a waiver of the FCC’s local ownership rules barring ownership of two stations in small markets and of two top-rated stations (typically network affiliates) in all markets.

Booming Broadcaster Sees Growth As A Gray Area

The Raycom acquisition doubled the size of Gray Television — and CEO Hilton Howell says it may get even bigger.

Lessons From The Front Line Of News Innovation

Five takeaways from newsrooms that are starting to re-invent local TV journalism.

Gray Syndicating Weekend Political Show

Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren debutes Sept. 8. It’s cleared in over 76% of the country in major markets including New York, Washington, Los Angeles and all of Gray’s 93 markets.

Gray Renews All Fox Affiliations

Gray Television on Tuesday reached an agreement with the Fox Television Network that extends and renews the network affiliations for all of Gray’s Fox affiliated television stations across 21 markets.

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | Stations Expand Social Media News Tools

Social media platforms are fast evolving, and newsrooms that have come to rely on them are turning to new tools to keep up. From more granular analytics to better tools for incorporating social content into stories, newsrooms — and the vendors they work with on social — are moving along a sharp learning curve.

SPONSORED BY ROSS VIDEO

Gray’s KOSA fuels future with Ross newsroom computer system

Gray Television’s CBS affiliate in Odessa-Midland, TX, updated its newsroom computer system with Ross Video’s Inception News, finding the transition to the platform easy to execute and the platform much more capable of accommodating the changing needs of its team.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Jessell | FCC Duop Inaction Hurting Station Owners

Gray Television’s deal to buy KDLT Sioux Fall, S.D., and create a precedent-setting affiliate duopoly in the market has been hung up at the FCC for 15 months without any explanation. For the sake of buyers and sellers, large and small, the FCC needs to act.

EARNINGS CALL

Gray Upbeat On Raycom Synergies, Political

But the outlook of non-political national spot remains gloomy. C0-CEO Pat LaPlatney said the company remains “disappointed with the weakness in national ad revenue, especially the auto sector.”

QUARTERLY REPORT

Gray 2Q Rev Flat; Retrans Offsets Spot Drop

Retrans revenue rose 23% to $201 million in the quarter, just enough to push total revenue for the station group into the black. Dragging down the top line was spot. Political took a big downturn as it always does in odd-numbered years, but core was also off.

Gray’s InvestigateTV Schedules New Documentary

Gray Television will debut the documentary Measure of Hate this month on all its television stations. Produced by Gray’s InvestigateTV team, the half-hour special reveals the vast undercounting of hate crimes throughout the country and how laws related to tracking and punishing hate crimes are not working. Measure of Hate shines a light on an […]

Gray Is Poised For Election Ad Deluge

Broadcasting company Gray Television is well placed to profit from an anticipated deluge of political advertising ahead of U.S. elections in 2020, according to Barron’s, which says good ratings in its local TV markets would be attractive to congressional, senatorial, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns looking to place campaign spots.

ACA To FCC: Gray Retrans Stance A Mockery

ACA Connects says Gray Television’s contractual prohibition on granting carriage of a TV station to MVPD C Spire Fiber makes a mockery of the FCC’s good faith retransmission consent negotiations and market modification process. That came in comments to the FCC on C Spire’s retrans complaint and request for declaratory ruling.

TV Groups To FCC: Leave Satellite Fees Alone

The FCC should not levy the same user fee on satellite stations that it does on their mother ships.  That is according to station group owners Nexstar and Gray Television in comments filed at the FCC on the commission’s proposed revise of its user fees per a congressional mandate to revisit them. They said to “obliterate” that distinction would boost satellite TV user fees “drastically.”

Gray Stations To End Day With National Anthem

Television stations traditionally ended each day with the anthem until the switch to 24-hour broadcasts. Beginning June 18, all 93 Gray stations across the nation will begin to feature the national anthem shortly before 4 a.m. each day, which signifies the switch to a new broadcast day.

MARKET SHARE

Gray Video Demonstrates Value, Importance Of Local TV

Cable Op Files Retrans Complaint Against Gray

Telepak Networks (C Spire Fiber) has filed a retransmission consent complaint against Gray Television at the FCC alleging lack of good faith bargaining, and has asked for a declaratory ruling that when the FCC modifies a market to add communities served by a significantly viewed station, then that station’s digital streams are also considered to be in that market for the purposes of retrans negotiations.

EARNINGS CALL

Gray Pleased With 1Q, Ready To Buy Stations

After reporting first quarter revenue of $518 million that included $280 million from Raycom, the company is still eyeing potential future acquisitions.

Gray 1Q Revenue Climbs To $518 Million

The increase was driven by the company’s merger with Raycom. Excluding that and year-ago Olympics contributions, 1Q revenue rose 3%.

Gray Teams With Grand Ole Opry On TV Network

The still unnamed country music service — comprising a broadcast diginet and an OTT streaming platform — will operate from offices and production facilities in Nashville. Drew Riefenberger has been tapped to head the joint venture as general manager. The OTT version, a mix of linear and on-demand programming, will not simulcast the multicast version, although there will be some overlap.

Gray To Syndicate Greta Van Susteren Show

Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren will focus on how policy actions, political decisions, and national events impact local communities across the country. It will debut in September across Gray’s footprint of 93 markets plus stations in Chicago and Milwaukee with additional clearances expected before then.

TVN’S OTT NEWS SUMMIT

Local TV First Movers Highlight OTT News Summit

Sinclair’s Scott Ehrlich, Cox’s Ian Stinson, CBS’s Adam Wiener and Gray’s Erin Overstreet will offer insights they’ve gained into local news audience behavior, optimal OTT content and programming decisions, backend tech challenges and monetization opportunities at TVNewsCheck’s OTT News Summit on June 11.

DMA 183: CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA

Gray Selling 2, Buying 1 Station In Charlottesville

It’s selling its CBS-Fox affiliate WCAV and ABC affil WVAW to Lockwood Broadcasting and buying the market’s NBC affiliate WVIR from Waterman Broadcasting.

Greta Van Susteren Joins Gray Television

The cable news veteran is named the station group’s chief national political analyst. Gray’s Sandy Breland: “With her decades of covering current events and legal issues, Greta will provide an in-depth look at issues that matter the most to our viewers.”

QUARTERLY REPORT

Gray’s Fourth Quarter Revenue Climbs 40%

The increase to $328.2 million comes from higher retrans revenue and increased political ad money. Both local and national revenue were again down by single digits.

DMAS 178 & 199

Gray Names GMs For New Stations

Gray Television today announced appointments of two new leaders for the television stations it is acquiring from United Communications. With this announcement, Gray fills both open positions with managers who have experience in small and mid-size television markets. In Watertown, N.Y. (DMA 178), Gray appointed Eric Krebs as the GM of WWNY (CBS) and WNYF-CD […]

WEEK ENDING FEB. 11

Station Trading Roundup: 1 Deal, $45M

The sale of two stations and related licenses in Minnesota and New York by United Communications to Gray Television tops the latest list of TV station transactions submitted to the FCC for its approval, according to BIA Advisory Services.

DMAS 178 & 199

Gray Buys Three United Stations In Two Markets

The $45 million acquisition comprises CBS affil WWNY and WNYF-CD (Fox) Watertown, N.Y., and CBS-Fox affiliate KEYC Mankato, Minn.

DMA 198: CASPER, WY

Gray Blames Feds For Local News Cuts In Casper

The group says that since the DOJ blocked its acquision of a CBS affiliation in Casper that would have given it essential retrans revenue, it’s merging news operations at its NBC affiliate KCWY Casper, Wyo., with those of its KGWN in Cheyenne and cutting back in Casper.

Syncbak Expands To 142 TV Stations

Gray Television’s OTT strategy extends to its newly-acquired Raycom stations. With this expansion, SBTV reaches 102 DMAs, including 41 of the top 100 markets across all station groups, reaching 30% of the US population.

NAB 2019 TECH HOT TOPICS

Stations Have Growing Options For Local OTT

Broadcasters thinking of plunging into OTT have big decisions to make, the biggest of which is settling on an OTT platform. They can turn to a turnkey provider or build their own. In either case, here are some vendors that can help.

 

Gray To Celebrate Raycom Deal At NYSE

CEO Hilton Howell and other execs will ring the exchange’s closing bell on Jan. 11 to mark the company’s purchase of Raycom Media. Gray has been traded on the exchange since 1995.

Gray Signs New ABC Affiliation Agreements

The broadcast group renews all 28 of its Alphabet Net affiliates in 25 markets.

Gray’s New Raycom Stations Dropping Cox Reps

The newly acquired stations will manage their national ad sales in-house like the rest of Gray’s stations.