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KentBrockman

Gray/Raycom Merger Thread

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Posted (edited)

Is there any chance of Telemundo ever considering snatching them up and either leasing spectrum or converting it to digital? Surely they (or any other big network) wouldn’t be happy being on an analog low power station as their primary signal and reduced to sharing a SD feed. 

 

Telemundo has been buying up small stations and has a good cluster in Texas. 

Edited by rkolsen
Correcting a spelling error.

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2 hours ago, rkolsen said:

Is there any chance of Telemundo ever considering snatching them up and either leasing spectrum or converting it to digital? Surely they (or any other big network) wouldn’t be happy being on an analog low power station as their primary signal and reduced to sharing a SD feed. 

 

Telemundo has been buying up small stations and has a good cluster in Texas. 

 

I think that chance of that happening are probably slim. That would probably anger the station groups that have both NBC & Telemundo affiliates in their portfolios (Gray, NPG, Nexstar, etc.) 

 

Gray probably have the most of Telemundo "affiliates" in the state of Texas (Amarillo, Laredo, Midland, Waco, Tyler, Wichita Falls). And except for Amarillo & possibly Midland (KTLE has a permit to flash cut to a digital signal), the rest are on a subchannel of a big-3 network affiliate. NBC bought the ZGS & Serestar properties recently is only because those groups had a lack of scale, and they were easy grabs. It would be hard for NBC to just snag the Telemundo affiliation from a group that has equal the scale like Gray, unless they find a standalone independent station to put the Telemundo network in, and that's very hard to find the smaller the market you go.

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It hasn't reached stations yet (hence the consummation notice hasn't been published), but based on posts from corporate directors on LinkedIn, it has been merged at the corporate level today.

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Anyone else still think Gray should be renamed Graycom? 😉

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, mre29 said:

Anyone else still think Gray should be renamed Graycom? 😉

 

 

 

I wonder if that will come up later? They don't even have to change their logo.

 

Have the licensee names changed as well? Or is that a separate move to be done later? Another interesting tidbit is that the Calkins sale to Raycom in 2016 is essentially now a liquidation - the 3 ex-Calkins stations all have different owners now.

Edited by GoldenShine9
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5 hours ago, GoldenShine9 said:

 Another interesting tidbit is that the Calkins sale to Raycom in 2016 is essentially now a liquidation - the 3 ex-Calkins stations all have different owners now.

And then the fact that WTXL is now co-owned with WFTS rather than WWSB. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, GoldenShine9 said:

Have the licensee names changed as well? Or is that a separate move to be done later? 

 

The licensee names will changes once they file consummation notices to the FCC site (that should be posted tonight), and the FCC signs off on those notices. Then we will see the names change on the FCC station queries.

 

We probably won't see that happen if the FCC shuts down its website late tomorrow because of the government shutdown.

 

Anywho, another prominent broadcast name goes away.

 

So as a broadcast group, Bye-Bye Raycom.

 

Kudos to Rick & Dee Ray, even though they were never involved in the Raycom Media venture (they founded Raycom Sports in '79). But it was great to keep their namesake alive all this time.

 

And according to their release, it appears that Gray will keep the "Raycom Sports" name and not renaming it "Gray Sports" (hopefully they'll keep it that way). But for how long though? They will continue to have syndicated rights to select ACC games until 2027, even though the big chunk of the other games will air on the new ESPN-ran ACCN network launching later this year.

 

It's also a homecoming of sorts for Gray, as for the first time in two decades, it reunites with its first television station WALB, .

 

It would be interesting to see what changes could occur post-merger in the weeks & months to come. Will they continue the practice of having VP/GMs do weekly editorials and have that practice spill over to the Legacy Gray side, or will that practice end? Will the Raycom outlets be kept on NewsOn or move exclusively to SBTV.

Edited by CircleSeven

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It took 190 days from announcement to consummation. I believe it took about 250 days for the Nexstar purchase of Media General to be completed? So this one compares favorably to that one.

 

Of course, 190 days into the other deal we often make comparisons to, it was still making zero progress with endless fighting - they didn't even have a blueprint yet. This is a big middle finger to Hunt Valley.

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1 hour ago, CircleSeven said:

It would be interesting to see what changes could occur post-merger in the weeks & months to come. Will they continue the practice of having VP/GMs do weekly editorials and have that practice spill over to the Legacy Gray side, or will that practice end? Will the Raycom outlets be kept on NewsOn or move exclusively to SBTV.

 

They will likely move the stations over to SBTV within the next few months, which would be another blow to NewsOn if they do so. The loss of Nexstar and (possibly) the now-former Raycom stations (along with possibly losing the Cordillera stations post-Scripps merger as well) would only leave them with eight TV station groups to work with going forward (Graham, ABC Owned, Meredith, Hearst, Sinclair, Hubbard, Cox, and TEGNA). Seven when you consider Cox is considering putting its stations on the market at the moment.

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1 hour ago, AmericanErrorist said:

Wikipedia says that Gray now owns Raycom's radio stations. Are those going to be sold?

 

Gray sold Schurz's radio stations when it acquired Schurz in 2016 so what'd you think?

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1 hour ago, AmericanErrorist said:

Wikipedia says that Gray now owns Raycom's radio stations. Are those going to be sold?

8 minutes ago, TheRolyPoly said:

Gray sold Schurz's radio stations when it acquired Schurz in 2016 so what'd you think?

 

Wikipedia is not always a good source. But yes Gray now owns the two radio outlets. One in Midland & the other in Amarillo.

 

It doesn't look like they're selling the stations, at least in the near-term. But, as we all know, things change overtime.

 

Also to mention. CNHI, LLC (Community Newspaper Holdings) was spun-off back to Raycom's former parent  Retirement Systems of Alabama. The papers were ran by RSA prior to Raycom's purchase of the papers last year. Not sure where PureCars went to (did it go to RSA too?)

 

Also a few hours after the deal closed, Raycom's main website was still up. But later that night, it was taken down and the url redirected to Gray's updated site.

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I'm thinking nobody else wanted CNHI.

 

I saw that Raycom's site was still up too! Glad to see Gray's was redesigned in its image.

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How is WSWG operating now? Did it abruptly get broken by WCTV now that Gray no longer owns it? Or is it being phased out to Marquee?

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Also, from what I can tell, CNHI (newspaper division) has moved up a level and is directly in the RSA operations now that the Raycom division is gone. That is still on the selling block though.

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13 hours ago, GoldenShine9 said:

How is WSWG operating now? Did it abruptly get broken by WCTV now that Gray no longer owns it? Or is it being phased out to Marquee?

 

There's a 90-day post-closing transition service agreement between Gray & Marquee. So the operations of WSWG pre-closing is a status quo (that means all the WCTV shows that are airing on WSWG are still airing right now) during this transition phase. That would give Marquee enough time to plan their own independent operations. They could also extend TSA past the 90 day period if its agreed to by the parties.

 

The transition agreement is on page 54 of this PDF.

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On 1/2/2019 at 11:17 PM, TennTV1983 said:

 

They will likely move the stations over to SBTV within the next few months, which would be another blow to NewsOn if they do so. The loss of Nexstar and (possibly) the now-former Raycom stations (along with possibly losing the Cordillera stations post-Scripps merger as well) would only leave them with eight TV station groups to work with going forward (Graham, ABC Owned, Meredith, Hearst, Sinclair, Hubbard, Cox, and TEGNA). Seven when you consider Cox is considering putting its stations on the market at the moment.

I actually love using the SBTV interface more than the many-legged spider UI NewsOn has seemed to become. It helps it has a basic 'here's the states in alphabetical order and then alphabetical city order' order, and they use the Apple TV/Roku native interfaces (or close cousin) than whatever NewsOn has chosen to use, including FF/rw for on-demand. NewsOn had a good idea, but it's an exhausting program for the consumer to use if you want to do more than just view your closest station's last newscast.

 

And it always seems when there's out-of-schedule breaking news that SBTV just streams it, while you better hope it breaks right during a newscast with NewsOn, or you're going on Google to search for the station's direct livestream link. About the only criticism I have; I've never watched their original content.

 

On 1/2/2019 at 9:36 PM, CircleSeven said:

And according to their release, it appears that Gray will keep the "Raycom Sports" name and not renaming it "Gray Sports" (hopefully they'll keep it that way). But for how long though? They will continue to have syndicated rights to select ACC games until 2027, even though the big chunk of the other games will air on the new ESPN-ran ACCN network launching later this year.

Trademark reasons will keep it in use in some form, even if it has to be used for some random high school football games on a My DT2.

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22 minutes ago, mrschimpf said:

 

I actually love using the SBTV interface more than the many-legged spider UI NewsOn has seemed to become. It helps it has a basic 'here's the states in alphabetical order and then alphabetical city order' order, and they use the Apple TV/Roku native interfaces (or close cousin) than whatever NewsOn has chosen to use, including FF/rw for on-demand. NewsOn had a good idea, but it's an exhausting program for the consumer to use if you want to do more than just view your closest station's last newscast.

 

And it always seems when there's out-of-schedule breaking news that SBTV just streams it, while you better hope it breaks right during a newscast with NewsOn, or you're going on Google to search for the station's direct livestream link. About the only criticism I have; I've never watched their original content.

 

Trademark reasons will keep it in use in some form, even if it has to be used for some random high school football games on a My DT2.

 

Back when I was working at Gray, they had some aspirations for the SBTV app that haven't really come to fruition, at least not yet. One of those was to make the SBTV app a streaming service for syndicated programs a station carries, such as Judge Judy or Wheel of Fortune or Dr. Phil. If a station has SBTV, then viewers could watch the same-day episodes of syndicated fare on the app alongside news content. I'm largely guessing that they didn't get the clearance from the major syndicators to do this so that's why it hasn't happened yet, but now that Gray is double or even triple the size that it was and has some major market stations it's possible that feature may eventually be a thing.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, KentBrockman said:

 

Back when I was working at Gray, they had some aspirations for the SBTV app that haven't really come to fruition, at least not yet. One of those was to make the SBTV app a streaming service for syndicated programs a station carries, such as Judge Judy or Wheel of Fortune or Dr. Phil. If a station has SBTV, then viewers could watch the same-day episodes of syndicated fare on the app alongside news content. I'm largely guessing that they didn't get the clearance from the major syndicators to do this so that's why it hasn't happened yet, but now that Gray is double or even triple the size that it was and has some major market stations it's possible that feature may eventually be a thing.

Ah yes, the first incarnation of Syncbak.  It was a cool idea to be able to watch live television within a particular dma using geofencing.  I think the adoption in probably the syndicators didn't make it a universal option.  it was fun to try on my phone traveling through certain areas where it worked.  I do remember WCCB in Charlotte was able to clear the Big Bang Theory as a part of it when they had it.

 

I believe Sinclair has a meaningful investment in NewsOn, that could potentially go away when they launch their upcoming OTT service, STIRR. 

 

Outside of TEGNA, the other groups are in flux as Cox could name a buyer any day now, and deep down inside, I think Meredith is going to be Gray's next target. 

 

The likelihood of Raycom's former stations moving to SBTV (and all of their stations Roku apps likely doing the same) is going to leave very little left for NewsON, as well as another blow to livestream.

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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Posted (edited)

It will be very interesting to see how Gray will integrate the Raycom outlets. Like what they'd announced yesterday in the first order of business since consummation.

 

Gray's practice of handling ad sales in-house to its legacy outlets, will be extended to the now-former Raycom outlets, as it will be terminating its ad sales rep agreement with CoxReps, which represented the Raycom stations.

 

Also, I did not know until now that RSA (who took that paper firm from Raycom) have an 11% interest in the newly-combined Gray, as said here:

Quote

Privately held Raycom was bankrolled by Alabama’s state-employee pension fund, which has said it would “continue its investment” in the TV business through an 11 percent stake in Gray’s stock. It also was set to acquire $650 million in preferred shares. Former Raycom chief executive Pat LaPlatney is now president, director and co-CEO of Atlanta-based Gray.

 

.....and Gray will keep the Raycom offices in Montgomery as said here:

Quote

If approved, the RSA will continue its investment in Gray/Raycom with a $650 million preferred stock at 8%, along with 10 million shares of common stock (currently valued at $130-$140 million) or 11% of Gray. Gray/Raycom will continue the Raycom headquarters in Montgomery, with the yearly $30 million advertising program and RTJ support programs for ten years.

 

And finally, before Gray started its own M&A craze five years ago, remember when former executive Bob Prather left the company, and later started his own venture Heartland Media. Well, for the first time since started that venture, he now has a new. interesting competitor in Huntsviille.

 

15/54 - Nexstar

19 - Tribune

31 - Heartland

48 - Gray

 

Edited by CircleSeven

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3 hours ago, CircleSeven said:

It will be very interesting to see how Gray will integrate the Raycom outlets. Like what they'd announced yesterday in the first order of business since consummation.

 

Gray's practice of handling ad sales in-house to its legacy outlets, will be extended to the now-former Raycom outlets, as it will be terminating its ad sales rep agreement with CoxReps, which represented the Raycom stations.

 

Also, I did not know until now that RSA (who took that paper firm from Raycom) have an 11% interest in the newly-combined Gray, as said here:

 

.....and Gray will keep the Raycom offices in Montgomery as said here:

 

And finally, before Gray started its own M&A craze five years ago, remember when former executive Bob Prather left the company, and later started his own venture Heartland Media. Well, for the first time since started that venture, he now has a new. interesting competitor in Huntsviille.

 

15/54 - Nexstar

19 - Tribune

31 - Heartland

48 - Gray

 

If there's that much of a stake in Gray, expect the endless "Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail" and "Grand Hotel at Point Clear" commercials to continue, and even extend onto the legacy Gray stations....
I'd be curious to see if The Southern Weekend (and it's regional variations) and MomsEveryday survives too....  Each was a fixture of Raycom and Gray, respectively....

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27 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

If there's that much of a stake in Gray, expect the endless "Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail" and "Grand Hotel at Point Clear" commercials to continue, and even extend onto the legacy Gray stations....
I'd be curious to see if The Southern Weekend (and it's regional variations) and MomsEveryday survives too....  Each was a fixture of Raycom and Gray, respectively....

I wonder if Gray will expand "MeTime with Frangela" to the legacy stations if it's doing ok on the ex-Raycom stations.

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