Gray Television Inc. became the third-largest television broadcast station group in the U.S. after it completed its $3.65 billion acquisition of Raycom Media Inc.
Gray and Raycom also completed the divestitures of nine television stations in overlap markets consistent with the parties' June 25, 2018, joint announcement of their merger, in order to satisfy the conditions placed on the merger by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.
TEGNA Inc. completed the acquisition of CBS (US) affiliate WTOL in Toledo, Ohio and NBC (US) affiliate KWES in Midland-Odessa, Texas, from Gray for $105 million in cash. WTOL will join WKYC, TEGNA's NBC affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio, and WZZM, TEGNA's ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich.
E.W. Scripps Co. closed its acquisition of three ABC (US) affiliated television stations, KXXV and KRHD in Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas, and WTXL in Tallahassee, Fla., from Raycom in a $55 million transaction. Meanwhile, Lockwood Broadcasting Inc. acquired FOX (US) affiliates WTNZ in the Knoxville, Tenn., market, WFXG in the Augusta, Ga., market, WPGX in the Panama City, Fla., market and WDFX in the Dothan, Ala., market.
Additionally, immediately prior to the Gray/Raycom deal closing, Raycom completed the spinoffs to its shareholders of two of its wholly owned subsidiaries, CNHI LLC and PureCars Automotive LLC.
Following the completion of the merger, Hilton Howell became Gray's executive chairman and CEO, while former Raycom President and CEO Pat LaPlatney became Gray's president and co-CEO. Gray COO of Local Media Bob Smith will oversee station operations. Jim Ryan will continue to serve as CFO of the company, reporting to Howell.
Gray now owns and/or operates television stations and digital properties in 91 television markets from Alaska and Hawaii to Maine and Florida.