Gray Hits Record $203.5M in Q1 Revenue

Gray Television Thursday reported hitting a new Q1 revenue high of $203.5 million for the three months ending March 31, during which the group added five stations to its portfolio.

That figure is a 17% year-over-year-increase, Gray said in its earnings report.

Revenue from station acquisitions in 2017 and 2016 together accounted for approximately $47.5 million of the total Q1 revenue, the company said. Gray purchased 13 stations and started operating two others during 2016.

Also on Thursday, Gray announced that it struck a deal to buy family owned WCAX in Burlington, Vt.

In the company's earnings call, president and CEO Hilton Howell, Jr. said, that with easing ownership rules, Gray will likely continue its M&A activity -- although he emphasized that Gray is not for sale.

Excluding the money generated by the acquisitions, however, Gray’s Q1 revenue decreased $1.2 million from the first quarter of 2016. Retransmission consent revenue rose by $9.2 million, but political ad money was down $8.3 million from the election year.

Local and national advertising revenue also dipped, partially due to the Super Bowl airing on Fox affiliates versus Gray’s larger number of CBS affiliates, as it did in 2016, the group said.

Gray’s Q1 net income was $10.5 million. Broadcast cash flow was $70.5 million.

(Photo via Pictures of Money's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 9, 2016 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)