Allen Media Buys Gray’s WJRT For $70 Million

The sale of the ABC affiliate in Flint-Saginaw, Mich., will pave the way for closing Gray’s purchase of Meredith’s station group. It boosts Allen's portfolio to 24 stations in 20 markets.

Gray Television on Wednesday said it is selling WJRT, its ABC affiliate in Flint-Saginaw, Mich. (DMA 73), to Byron Allen’s Allen Media Broadcasting for $70 million dollars in cash.

Gray’s said the sale “facilitates regulatory approvals for its pending acquisition of the Local Media Group division of Meredith Corp. by removing the only market overlap between the respective television station portfolios of Gray and Meredith.”

The closing for the sale of WJRT is expected to occur in the third or fourth quarter of 2021 prior to the closing of the Gray-Meredith transaction and is subject to customary closing conditions. WJRT General Manager Pete Veto will remain with Gray after the closing of this sale in a new position that Gray will announce at a later date.

Allen Media Group was founded by Byron Allen in 1993. Upon closing, Allen Media will own and operate 24 television stations in 20 markets, as well as 12 television networks, including The Weather Channel, and the free-streaming service Local Now. On April 29, Gray and Allen Media Group announced that Allen Media Group would acquire 10 TV stations currently owned by Quincy Media for $380 million upon Gray’s anticipated acquisition of Quincy in the third quarter.

“Having to divest WJRT-TV, which we have proudly owned for the past seven years, in order to facilitate our purchase of Meredith’s television stations is bittersweet,” said Gray’s Executive Chairman and CEO Hilton H. Howell. “The wonderful WJRT-TV staff has done an exemplary job serving the Flint-Saginaw community, and we are disappointed to lose them. Nevertheless, we are excited that Byron Allen and his team will follow us as the next dedicated stewards of this fine television station.”

“We are delighted to win the process to add this wonderful local television station and its great employees to the fast-growing Allen Media Group family,” said Byron Allen, founder, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group. “Over the past year-and-a-half, we’ve invested close to $1 billion to acquire best-in-class, top-tier, broadcast network affiliates and we plan to invest approximately $10 billion to acquire more ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox television stations over the next two years with the goal of being the largest broadcast television group in America. All of our media assets will work in concert to amplify our free-streaming service, Local Now.”


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