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Gray/Raycom Merger Thread


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YEARS ago, WJHG produced a 9pm show for WPGX (under Waitt ownership way back in the 1990s). It failed, and Panama City has been 9pm news-less since.

 

Since then, WPGX has dabbled in syndication and even a local news-talk show hosted by the one-time mayor of PCB. Think of it as a low-budget redneck version of the Allman Report.

Morning show? They sold the air time to former WMBB midday anchor Tom Najjar who had his own morning-like show...sort of like a REALLY low-budget pay-for-play lifestyle program. Several other hosts have attempted the same, and I think it's now just general paid programming...

They even aired those syndicated weathercasts beamed out of Mississippi (WeatherVision) and BRIEFLY had WMBB producing them.

 

WPGX has always been Raycom's red-headed step child. It's presence in Panama City is a sales office off one of the main streets (even leaving their studio right across from WMBB on Harrison Avenue) They've barely had even a website, and several years ago, decided to lay off most of their non-sales staff and basically run the station out of WBRC in Birmingham. Even WDFX has fared better...having WSFA as a partner, since they were historically the NBC affiliate of record in Dothan before Gray decided to launch WRGX.

 

Not even WJHG has attempted a 9pm show on their CW or MyNetwork channel. Even WTVY's CW tried to pull one off.

 

Color me surprised if Lockwood actually does something...seeing as how they are "status quo" operators. Even calling up INN to start a "local" newscast would be a benefit at this point!

 

I really don't think WJHG did any news for WPGX. The only real news presence I know that WPGX did in the 90's was a five minute update right after Fox primetime. And that news-talk show you were refering about was NewsView, which was around for a few years in the late 2000s and hosted by former PCB police chief and mayor Lee Sullivan. Other than, Panama City has never had a true 9pm newscast.

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You have clearly never lived in Wisconsin. It's the dead of winter right now. Golf courses won't be open for several more weeks and have been closed for months. If you are a golfer, and can afford to

Tribune/Sinclair = 2 years and nothing. Gray/Raycom = 6 months and closed in full. That's what happens when you play by the rules. Gray did it right. Sinclair did it wrong. Its so obvious as to

Moral of this story: DON’T LIE TO THE FEDS. Your acquisition will be a lot easier.

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Did Ms. Woodbury say "Bubbity News at 6?"

Michigan J. Frog was the only one who had legal authority to say "WB" as "Dubya-Bee" or "Dubya-Dubya-Dubya-Bee." Everyone else had to make do.

 

In all seriousness, the lack of a teleprompter really shows here, and it's so painful.

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Michigan J. Frog was the only one who had legal authority to say "WB" as "Dubya-Bee" or "Dubya-Dubya-Dubya-Bee." Everyone else had to make do.

 

In all seriousness, the lack of a teleprompter really shows here, and it's so painful.

 

I'm pretty sure Tom McGee, after anchoring a pair of newscasts, went down to the local watering hole one night, had a few, and said..."Hey everyone, I'm Tom McGee....news anchor on the "dubba-dubba-dubba-u-BEE!"

 

His antics were the stuff of legend. One DUI had him driving down the wrong way of a Charleston street...another had him rolling into Taco Bell with a flat tire the whole way after a few beers....

 

And there was his WOWK antics that sparked a lawsuit or two....that was between his two stints at WCHS.

 

Attempting a newscast like that on the then-WB station was a LOOOONG shot. Especially given the sheer dominance that WSAZ has over everyone. WVAH, a very distant 4th probably killed them at 10 by a huge margin.

 

 

But moving forward to the days when Lockwood cashed out...the original plan was to sell WQCW to a shell company owned by the former WSAZ GM. Somehow, Gray was able to acquire them directly since they were easily the 5th place station (probably WOUB in Athens moved back into the market which made enough voices to allow a duopoly)....especially since WVAH has remained under Cunningham ownership ever since Sinclair took them over...

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I'm pretty sure Tom McGee, after anchoring a pair of newscasts, went down to the local watering hole one night, had a few, and said..."Hey everyone, I'm Tom McGee....news anchor on the "dubba-dubba-dubba-u-BEE!"

 

His antics were the stuff of legend. One DUI had him driving down the wrong way of a Charleston street...another had him rolling into Taco Bell with a flat tire the whole way after a few beers....

 

And there was his WOWK antics that sparked a lawsuit or two....that was between his two stints at WCHS.

 

Attempting a newscast like that on the then-WB station was a LOOOONG shot. Especially given the sheer dominance that WSAZ has over everyone. WVAH, a very distant 4th probably killed them at 10 by a huge margin.

 

 

But moving forward to the days when Lockwood cashed out...the original plan was to sell WQCW to a shell company owned by the former WSAZ GM. Somehow, Gray was able to acquire them directly since they were easily the 5th place station (probably WOUB in Athens moved back into the market which made enough voices to allow a duopoly)....especially since WVAH has remained under Cunningham ownership ever since Sinclair took them over...

 

And now he's one of those personal injury attorneys, probably helping people who also got busted for DUI. :D

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I really don't think WJHG did any news for WPGX. The only real news presence I know that WPGX did in the 90's was a five minute update right after Fox primetime. And that news-talk show you were refering about was NewsView, which was around for a few years in the late 2000s and hosted by former PCB police chief and mayor Lee Sullivan. Other than, Panama City has never had a true 9pm newscast.

 

I remember seeing something in the Panama City News-Herald's archives about it years ago. Of course, the paper changed hands after Freedom sold their TV stations, and that particular paper was acquired by HalifaxMedia, and is now part of GateHouse.

 

Of course, through the ownership changes probably meant the CMS systems were overhauled, and bye-bye went the archives. Not even NewsBank goes back that far anymore. One set only goes back to 2006, and the other starts only 2 years ago...

 

And here's a taste of Lee Sullivan for you....

He even looks a little like Tom McGee!

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The parties posted a key amendment tonight. And it's regarding the SSAs with American Spirit.

 

Gray stated that it'll assume control to five of those stations (KAUZ, KVHP, WDBD, WSFX, WXTX).

 

But among the non-ASM stations, this footnote got me.

Raycom also provides services under similar SSAs to three non-American Spirit stations: KMSB(TV) and KTTU(TV), in the Tucson, Arizona DMA, and KFVE(TV), in the Honolulu, Hawaii DMA. Only the SSAs in Tucson would continue post-Transaction. In addition, two Raycom stations receive services under SSAs with Journal Broadcast Group, Inc. (which provides services to KNIN-TV, Caldwell, Idaho) and Scripps Media, Inc. (which provides services to WFLX, West Palm Beach, Florida); these SSAs would continue post-Transaction.

 

So they're going to terminate the KFVE SSA? Who's going to operate that separately? Or will Gray move the intellectual property a place it on one of the duopoly channels? Since the deal was announced, I always thought that Hawaii was the one to watch because of how Raycom handled the Hawaii News Now situation 9 years ago.

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The parties posted a key amendment tonight. And it's regarding the SSAs with American Spirit.

 

Gray stated that it'll assume control to five of those stations (KAUZ, KVHP, WDBD, WSFX, WXTX).

 

But among the non-ASM stations, this footnote got me.

 

 

So they're going to terminate the KFVE SSA? Who's going to operate that separately? Or will Gray move the intellectual property a place it on one of the duopoly channels? Since the deal was announced, I always thought that Hawaii was the one to watch because of how Raycom handled the Hawaii News Now situation 9 years ago.

 

Maybe they'll acquire KFVE outright and move KHNL to a KGMB subchannel.

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Paperwork is up for the eight divested stations.

 

Lockwood will use WCWG's former licensee name Greensboro TV LLC for the four Fox stations (WDFX, WFXG, WPGX, WTNZ).

 

Also the two ABC outlets going to Scripps (KXXV/KRHD & WTXL).

 

EDIT 8/30: The two stations going to Tegna (KWES & WTOL)

 

And the first set of comments were posted from the ACA, Dish Network, and the NCTA.

 

So far, no deny petitions or any opposition comments were posted. The deny petitions were due Monday.

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It’s good to see Lockwood growing. It started small and wound up acquiring higher-quality managers as it developed. Its Knoxville CW set revenue records and kept low turnover.

 

The GM of WKNX is a strong manager that knows how to treat employees well and increase sales. I’m happy for the people at WTNZ. They’re going to enjoy this.

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WMC has gotten the new website design as of Thursday afternoon. I think it's still under construction... the news team biographies page, for example, has disappeared (hopefully not permanently). But elsewhere on the site, some really old stuff has been dug up. I'll let this screenshot speak for itself. (Not pictured: the article description noting that Ed, The West Wing, and Law & Order would be moving to their sister station, WPXX Pax 50, that night.)

1168177976_Screenshot09-07-18.thumb.png.b7ca5db580cfbef323d6ddd938bc1761.png

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No individuals or outside parties made any comments, and they are all about money, not structural issues. Hunt Valley has to be screaming at how easy this has been...

 

Surprised that I haven't heard anything from Free Press..... They usually be the most vocal.

 

Anyway, the FCC has greenlighted the KYOU/WUPV deal to Raycom. Now once this deal closes, they will file again to assign these stations to Gray.

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Surprised that I haven't heard anything from Free Press..... They usually be the most vocal.

Everyone at Free Press may be in literal shock over how both parties have conducted themselves throughout this process, being up-front to the FCC and DOJ and stating that any/all divestitures will be 100% clean and without any shenanigans.

 

There may be next to nothing for them to object to or comment on.

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