DMAS 190 & 205

Gray Buys Three Montana Stations

It’s paying $2 million for KTVH (NBC) and KMTF (CW) in Helena, and KBGF Great Falls (NBC).

Gray Television Inc. on Wednesday announced that it is buying three network-affiliated television stations in Montana for approximately $2,000,000.

Gray reached an agreement with Intermountain West Communications Co. for KTVH, the NBC affiliate in Helena, Mont. (DMA 205), and KBGF, the NBC affiliate in Great Falls, Mont. (DMA 190). Gray is also buying KMTF, the CW affiliate in Helena, from Rocky Mountain Broadcasting Co., subject to receipt of a “failing station waiver” from the FCC.

On June 1, Gray will begin operating the NBC stations pursuant to a local marketing agreement during the pre-closing period.

Lisa Howfield, the president-COO of Intermountain West, said: “Selling KTVH and KBGF is a bittersweet moment for IMW. We respect and value those stations tremendously. On the other hand, we are excited that they will be joining a group of broadcasters who share our commitment to localism.”

“Gray is thrilled to again expand our portfolio of leading television stations,” said Kevin Latek, Gray’s SVP for business affairs. “KTVH in particular complements Gray’s announced acquisition strategy well, because this No. 1-ranked station in a state capital is intimately involved with the local community and in fact broadcasts from a studio located on the campus of Carroll College in downtown Helena.” 

Gray said the acquisitions of KTVH, KBGF and KMTF will be immediately free cash flow accretive. The transactions are subject to receipt of regulatory and other approvals, and Gray said it anticipates that the transactions will close in the second or third quarter. 


Kalil & Co. represented the sellers.

Comments (3)

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Joanne McDonald says:

May 7, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I think it could pave the way for Gray to buy every TV station in Montana from Cordillera with the CW station in Helena flipping to Great Falls CBS on it’s DT1 signal with the CW Plus going down to a DT2 signal. I feel Cordillera would’ve wanted KMTF mainly to broadcast Great Falls CBS on it’s DT1 channel and CW Plus on it’s DT2 channel and KHQ/Cowles would’ve wanted KTVH to add ABC on the DT2 and FOX on the DT3 in SDTV or HDTV if possible and KFBB could’ve been able to broadcast KTVH NBC programming on the DT3 in SDTV or HDTV if possible with KBGF going dark as a low power station that never had the chance to upgrade to digital. Cordillera and KHQ/Cowles missed their own chance at buying one of the two full power stations in Helena mainly to air and broadcast their stations in Great Falls so they would’ve never ever be at the greatest risk of not being able to continue to have an over the air signal airing and broadcasting programming from their stations from Great Falls when their low power repeaters in Helena goes off the air and goes dark permanently when the channel repacking, channel sharing, and spectrum auctions starts to happen by around the middle of 2015. It’s sad that Gray ended up buying both stations in Helena that Cordillera and KHQ/Cowles could’ve have the chance to purchase one of the two to air and broadcast programming from their Great Falls stations to be full time satellite repeater stations of their own stations in Great Falls.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    May 8, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Another worthless post no one will read from JC who does not understand the financials of Broadcasting.

Maria Black says:

May 8, 2014 at 9:19 am

Gray seems to be making a lot of station moves, but because they are not buying huge swathes of stations in one go, its flying under the radar. It will be interesting to see how many more are in the fold before the end of the year.

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