FCC Approves Gray-Raycom Merger
The FCC today blessed the Gray Television $3.6 billion acquisition of Raycom Media, clearing the path for the two parties to close the deal by Jan. 1, 2019.
The merger creates another TV mega-group with stations in 92 markets reaching 24% of TV homes (or 17% with the UHF discount the FCC uses in calculating compliance with its 39% ownership cap).
To win approval of the FCC and the Justice Department, Gray said when it announced the deal in June that it would divest stations in nine markets to avoid overlaps of two network affiliates.
Such duopolies would violate the FCC local ownership rules and could run afoul of Justice’s antitrust guidelines.
Gray made good on that promise last summer, agreeing to spin off one of the affiliates in each of the nine markets a series of deals to Tegna, Scripps and Lockwood.
The spin off markets: Knoxville, Tenn.; Toledo, Ohio; Waco, Texas; Tallahassee, Fla.; Augusta, Ga.: Odessa, Texas; Panama City, Fla.; Albany, Ga.; and Dothan, Ala.