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Gray Television Reports Loss of $30 Million in Third Quarter

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(Image credit: Gray Television)

Gray Television reported a  loss in the  third quarter as revenue was flat in a non-election year.

Gray’s net loss was $30 million, or 32 cents a share, compared to net income of $109 million, or $1.14 a share, a year ago. The company said the loss was the result of having to divest stations in overlap markets following its acquisitions. The company has also incurred $11 million in transaction related expenses.

Gray acquired Quincy Media in August and is in the process of acquiring Meredith Corp.’s local media group.

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Gray sold stations in seven markets to Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group for $398 million in August as part of the Quincy deal. To facilitate the Meredith deal, it sold WJRT-TV, Flint, Michigan, to Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group for $72 million in September.

Revenue was flat at $601 million. Broadcast revenue was down 2% to $581 million and revenue from Gray’s production companies was up 82% to $20 million.

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Core advertising revenue--excluding political ad revenue  was $292 million, up 23% from last year and 7% from 2019, the last non-political and pre-pandemic year. Political ad revenue was $9 million, down from $128 million a year ago.

Retransmission consent revenue was $266 million, up 23% from a year ago. 

Gray said it expected local revenue to increase by 8% to 9% in the fourth quarter and national revenue to increase 10% to 13%. It forecasts retransmission revenue increasing by 20% to 21%. Total broadcast revenue will be down 21% to 22% with political advertising down 95% to 96%.

“We experienced strong momentum in the first nine months of 2021 and we believe it will continue throughout the remainder of the year,” the company said.