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KentBrockman

Gray/Raycom Merger Thread

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Yes but for how long? If any are up after this year, they could make a play for some. Particularly the Sun Belt and MAC, as they are in their combined footprint.

 

The two conferences that are listed were snatched up by ESPN for their ESPN+ Service...

 

However, The American Athletic Conference Rights are up for grabs after 2018-19, and the commissioner is open to all options.. and looking at the footprint of the combined company, compared to the conference footprint... Only three schools* (Temple, University of Houston, and University of Connecticut) would not have a station owned by Gray Television.

 

It would be somewhat of a coup for Raycom Sports to snag those rights (while the schools aren't flashy, they are competitive), but in this era where most companies are willing to spend on sports, while ESPN is in cost-cutting mode, anything is possible.

 

* The Naval Academy would also not covered by a Gray Television Station, but they signed a side deal with CBS Sports Network for their home games

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From what I am reading, the new company is about 60% Gray, 40% Raycom in terms of operations. More like Nexstar-Media General (parts of MG being absorbed) than Sinclair-Tribune (a complete cash out). I'm also reading Hilton Howell will no longer be CEO, but Pat LaPlantey (Raycom) will run the company.

 

I'm guessing Raycom side assets like Raycom Sports will merge in as well (IMO they should keep their names) under Gray ownership.

 

That might be the best comparison I can think of (last year's Nexstar-Media General deal). Smaller of two mostly regional station chains (though in the Nexstar-MG case Media General was moving up the ranks after acquiring longtime heavyweight LIN) buys up the bigger chain.

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That would not be surprising, although they could go for mid-major rights. Could this mean changes for current Gray stations?

With the way ESPN is suffering due to cord-cutting, anything is possible

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http://www.wtol.com/story/38504000/what-the-raycomgray-merger-means-for-wtol-and-you

 

From WTOL's site. Looks like WUPW is staying with WTOL under its next owner and their news will still be co-produced, whether it is Nexstar, Tegna or someone else.

 

Sounds like a lot of happy spin of "we're still the best" to me. Sinclair can't gobble them up and destroy them fast enough, I hate WTOL's smug management. I know that would mean someone else would have to buy WNWO, but do they really care?

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http://www.wtol.com/story/38504000/what-the-raycomgray-merger-means-for-wtol-and-you

 

From WTOL's site. Looks like WUPW is staying with WTOL under its next owner and their news will still be co-produced, whether it is Nexstar, Tegna or someone else.

 

The Blade is reporting the same thing. Patrick Donnelly, the GM at WUPW, is certain that the SSA with WTOL will continue.

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I don't know if this was mentioned elsewhere but I would be absolutely shocked if TEGNA doesn't take WTNZ in Knoxville. It's a sure fit to be used as a duopoly with WBIR who already produces their news. Being the 5th ranked station that likely won't be a problem.

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So with Gray and Raycom's CEOs sharing their duties at the combined company, why? Does the co-CEO arrangement ever work out?

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I don't know if this was mentioned elsewhere but I would be absolutely shocked if TEGNA doesn't take WTNZ in Knoxville. It's a sure fit to be used as a duopoly with WBIR who already produces their news. Being the 5th ranked station that likely won't be a problem.

 

Either Tegna or Nexstar could acquire it cleanly.

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So with Gray and Raycom's CEOs sharing their duties at the combined company, why? Does the co-CEO arrangement ever work out?

 

Good question. I guess we'll see.

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“I had no idea until this morning, when the press release came out,” said Chris Fedele, WTVG’s vice president and general manager

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KTVF and KXDF will definitely benefit from all this; the Gray/Raycom merger will mean local news FINALLY in HD.

 

Looks like the NewsON app will get very interesting in the coming months!

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I don't know if this was mentioned elsewhere but I would be absolutely shocked if TEGNA doesn't take WTNZ in Knoxville. It's a sure fit to be used as a duopoly with WBIR who already produces their news. Being the 5th ranked station that likely won't be a problem.

 

I'm surprised that they're 5th in the market.

The only station that could possibly be 4th is WBXX. And if that's the case, it's probably by a razor thin margin.

 

This merger is a way for Raycom and Gray to dump their also-ran stations that are largely run out-of-market. If they would have chosen to waiver them, they would be better off under local control than they way they've been run.

All I hope is the next owner of WPGX finds a way to put a newscast on them. They once had a 9pm newscast produced by WJHG in the 90s, but it was swiftly cancelled.

Panama City has to be one of the last markets that LACKS a 9pm newscast of ANY kind...

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KTVF and KXDF will definitely benefit from all this; the Gray/Raycom merger will mean local news FINALLY in HD.

 

Looks like the NewsON app will get very interesting in the coming months!

 

Let me guess... pulling out, pulling out, pulling out, etc.

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KTVF and KXDF will definitely benefit from all this; the Gray/Raycom merger will mean local news FINALLY in HD.

 

Looks like the NewsON app will get very interesting in the coming months!

 

Last month, Gray Television teamed up with SBTV (Syncbak TV) to stream their 93 local stations online. The SBTV app is only on Android and iOS. SBTV doesn't have an app on Roku and others. I wonder if Gray will pull a Nexstar and remove the Raycom stations from NewsOn (I hope not).

 

https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/93-local-stations-just-started-streaming-free-online/

 

Soon, Gray will add another market to their Virginia portfolio: Richmond. WWBT soon to be owned by Gray? This is gonna get interesting...

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I'm surprised that they're 5th in the market.

The only station that could possibly be 4th is WBXX. And if that's the case, it's probably by a razor thin margin.

 

This merger is a way for Raycom and Gray to dump their also-ran stations that are largely run out-of-market. If they would have chosen to waiver them, they would be better off under local control than they way they've been run.

All I hope is the next owner of WPGX finds a way to put a newscast on them. They once had a 9pm newscast produced by WJHG in the 90s, but it was swiftly cancelled.

Panama City has to be one of the last markets that LACKS a 9pm newscast of ANY kind...

 

On that note...Reno, Nevada (a Gray market). No 9pm news in the market. You can watch KTVU, but who wants that? (I found this out during the KENV saga.)

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Last month, Gray Television teamed up with SBTV (Syncbak TV) to stream their 93 local stations online. The SBTV app is only on Android and iOS. SBTV doesn't have an app on Roku and others. I wonder if Gray will pull a Nexstar and remove the Raycom stations from NewsOn (I hope not).

 

https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/93-local-stations-just-started-streaming-free-online/

 

Soon, Gray will add another market to their Virginia portfolio: Richmond. WWBT soon to be owned by Gray? This is gonna get interesting...

 

Isn't Raycom still a partner in NewsON and wouldn't Gray inherit that share upon acquisition? Or a la Nexstar would they just hand it back to the other groups in the consortium (IIRC ABC, Cox, Hearst, Hubbard, Sinclair, and Graham as of now)?

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Now that Raycom's people will stay on with Gray post-merger that should alleviate any potential concerns about dragging down the Raycom stations that some people in this thread have AND we can tos any possibility of Raycom's stations in markets above 60 out the door

 

As for Raycom Sports, they'll still be around even though, they'll lose ACC rights to ESPN at the end of the 2018-19 Collegiate, could Gray potentially shut Raycom Sports down after the season given that Raycom Sports will have very little in terms of College Sports rights? We'll see

 

how big are high school sports in NC?

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how big are high school sports in NC?

Usually high school football and basketball are big.

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It will be interesting if Gray continues to act as a cheap operator or if, arguably a la Nexstar, they mature a little bit getting their hands on bigger-market stations.

 

If I am a photographer at any Raycom station, I'd get my resume ready. Gray absolutely obliterated the photographer staffs at WDBJ, WCAX and KYTV.

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Suggested here for many years too!! It’s not clean but the two companies basically match each other.

 

As I'd said with Gannett/Belo five years ago, Wow, Just Wow! But DAMN!!!! I dunno how many times I've preached this. Kudos to TheOneManHerd for being the first to call this.

 

We all thought Gray was going to be M&A bait, after Prather's departure. But they've been on a roll since Howell came in. But they haven't get anything outside of the largest market (Knoxville) until now. ThIs is their BIG GET.

 

I know it's premature but some unanswered questions.

  • Since Gray & Raycom are "merging", will Gray follow the Raycom cosmetic philosophy? I.E. putting the current Raycom gfx into the Gray outlets, putting Arnold themes on the non-Arnold Gray stations or will that practice end?
  • How about another Raycom staple. The weekly editorials from the station's VP-GMs. Will this practice swarm into the legacy Gray stations or will that practice end on the soon-to-be former Raycom stations after merger?
  • And what about Hawaii? Raycom commonly owns KHNL (NBC) & KGMB (CBS), there the two top-4 stations in the islands. If they're transfered to Gray, the old rules would have to break these two stations up. But Under Pai, they could get a top-4 waiver to keep the two together. But I wouldn't be surprised if there's any sort of "Gray-neuvering" (moving stations to the subs). It would be interesting to see the paperwork whenever it gets posted.

I'm hoping Gray get Cordillera next. Should Gray call Prather (who now runs Heartland) up for the spin-offs?

Well, this was random and unexpected. The sad consolidation of broadcasting groups continues.

 

But this prolonged-M&A craze just don't want to end. It's like a soap opera. Who's gonna get gobbled up next? Sook was right about the rise of the Super-Groups. But he didn't predict that it would be far fewer groups.

 

I wished someone would make a chronological graph of all the M&As that has happened since 2011. And I believe this M&A craze is just as frenzy as the affiliation switches of the 90s. It's unbelievable.

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