Gray TV Completes $3.6B Raycom Buy

Gray TV said it has completed its $3.6 billion purchase of Raycom Media, creating a new station group powerhouse with TV properties in 91 markets across the country.

Gray agreed to purchase Raycom in June, in a deal they said would create the largest owner of top-rated TV stations in the country. According to Gray, it now owns the first or second highest rated TV station in 85 markets, according to Comscore’s audience measurement data between December 2017 and November 2018.

In total, Gray owns and/or operates television stations and digital properties in 91 markets across the country, including 150 affiliates of the Big 4 networks.

Back in June, Gray said it would divest of nine TV stations in overlap markets in Knoxville, Tenn.; Waco, Texas; Albany, Ga.; Toledo, Ohio; Tallahassee, Fla.; Augusta, Ga.; Panama City. Fla.; and Dothan, Ga. to comply with Federal Communications Commission local ownership rules. Those stations were sold to Tegna, Scripps and Lockwood Broadcasting.

After the close Gray chairman and CEO Hilton Howell became the combined company’s executive chairman and CEO, and former Raycom president and CEO Pat LaPlatney became Gray’s president and co-CEO. Former Raycom president and CEO Paul McTear, joined Gray’s Board of Directors. Gray’s chief operating officer, Local Media Bob Smith will continue to oversee station operations and Jim Ryan will continue his role as chief financial officer

Nick Waller continues as chief administrative officer and former Gray general counsel Rob Folliard becomes vice president, Government Relations and Distribution. In other management news, Greg McCastle serves as SVP, Sales Strategy and Development; and former Raycom executive Dave Burke is Gray’s new SVP and Chief Technology Officer. Dianne Wilson, also formerly of Raycom, is Gray’s new Vice President, Employee Relations, and will work closely with Jan Goldstein who continues as Gray’s Vice President, Human Resources. Greg Conklin continues in his role as Gray’s Vice President, Programming.

Also at closing, Gray promoted Mike Braun to SVP, Gray Digital Media; Becky Meyer to SVP, National Sales; Mike Jones to VP, Political Sales; and Karen Youger to VP, Sales Operations, overseeing Traffic, the Programming Hub, and Matrix.