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Gray/Raycom Merger Thread


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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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Raycom could keep KHNL and sell KGMB to Cox; it would be the third CBS station added to their portfolio (along with WHIO and KIRO).

 

They could just undo the KGMB/KFVE swap they did to get the stations under common control...

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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?

 

 

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.

I think with Raycom's people looking likely to run Gray post-merger chances are that Raycom's Cosmetic philosophy and the weekly editorials will continue and be applied to some of the legacy Gray stations (not everybody will get 'Raycomized' however)

 

As for Hawaii, I'll answer that question in the speculatron thread

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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.

 

Not that it matters, but in WDBJ’s case, many of their photographers had been around a long time; those same photographers also worked with Adam Ward, who as we all know, was killed along with reporter Alison Parker during that horrific on-air shooting that took place on WDBJ in August of 2015. (Ward, at the time, was planning to leave WDBJ to follow his then-fiancée to Charlotte, where she had landed a job producing the morning news on WSOC.)

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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.)

 

There are a lot of California transplants in the Reno market. The simulcast of KTVU at 10 pm is watched by more people than most of the Reno-based newscasts.

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One interesting thing, Gray's decision to keep KOSA and KWTX over KWES-KWAB/KTLE and KXXV/KRHD will result in Raycom's 2015 acquisition of Drewry Communications being partially undone through this merger. The only ex-Drewry stations the combined company will retain are KFDA/KEYU and KSWO (with the fate of the JSA/SSA with KAUZ to be determined).

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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)?

 

Raycom is still a partner, but the question is: how long will they continue that partnership?

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Would stations like WOIO and WUAB get new branding under Gray, especially the newscasts? Also, someone on another forum (not me) wants to see the return of 19 Action News, which was the only truly memorable part of Raycom's time in Cleveland.

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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.)

 

The only thing even CLOSE to a local 9pm show would be the WTVY CW show that's only available OTA to most Panama City viewers. Cable coverage of WTVY went away when Gray signed on WECP and gave Panama City their own affiliate. In the process, cable and satellite customers lost WTVY and their FULL news department, instead, they were given rebadged WJHG shows run by their news people. Likewise in Dothan, WTVY's WRGX kicked WJHG off of cable up there and the same problem ensued (but was less apparent since they also get WSFA out of Montgomery, who currently powers the 9pm show on Dothan's Fox affiliate, WDFX.)

 

And before these existed? There was when WGN simulcasted theirs on WGN America.

It would be nice to have that back, but once Sinclair puts their mark on them, Lord help us all....

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Would stations like WOIO and WUAB get new branding under Gray, especially the newscasts? Also, someone on another forum (not me) wants to see the return of 19 Action News, which was the only truly memorable part of Raycom's time in Cleveland.

 

Do people still call it Action News?

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Raycom Sports may die after the coming season as the ACC moves to its own ESPN-produced network. I’m not sure what else they do besides ACC basketball and football games.

 

From this article, Raycom still have syndie rights to ACC games through 2027. So they're still air some games past 2019, though it won't be alot.

 

Also, FierceCable wrote that analyst say that Gray could get as much as $210M in the spin-off sales. And here's some insight from RBR regarding the spin-offs:

Saying goodbye to top-rated WTOL-11 in Toledo, Ohio, in favor of ABC-affiliated WTVG-13 may have been questioned by some. But, it appears Raycom and Gray want to make it easier for a buyer to get a group of stations presently under the same ownership — rather than make any spinoffs more complex.

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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.

It would be very interesting to see that. Even though that is just going back seven years, it will be quite the trip down memory lane.

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Do people still call it Action News?

I still call it 19 Action News. No way I’m calling it “Cleveland 19”.

 

My thoughts on this merger. I’m honestly not surprised by this. I knew that Raycom was ready to cash out because of how little they were in the M&A craze. The fact that Gray isn’t bothering to keep the conflicts works in the deal’s favor. Plus, since Gray is keeping most of the Raycom staff on board, stations like WOIO, WBTV, and WVUE will stay status quo. I do wonder if Gray plans on keeping the Charlotte graphics hub and institute a “Limerick 2” package.

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I’ve wondered what happens to an employee that was say let go by Raycom and is now working at a Gray station in good standing? Would that employee have job security if they’ve one well currently.

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There are a lot of California transplants in the Reno market. The simulcast of KTVU at 10 pm is watched by more people than most of the Reno-based newscasts.

 

I've been surprised that Sinclair has kept the KTVU simulcasts going. I figured they would've ditched those for newscasts produced by KRNV by now.

 

Are the newscasts really that popular in Reno?

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I still call it 19 Action News. No way I’m calling it “Cleveland 19”.

 

My thoughts on this merger. I’m honestly not surprised by this. I knew that Raycom was ready to cash out because of how little they were in the M&A craze. The fact that Gray isn’t bothering to keep the conflicts works in the deal’s favor. Plus, since Gray is keeping most of the Raycom staff on board, stations like WOIO, WBTV, and WVUE will stay status quo. I do wonder if Gray plans on keeping the Charlotte graphics hub and institute a “Limerick 2” package.

 

I wonder if the current Gray stations will get them? It sounds like they are keeping that on board. I agree it should also go quickly due to the fact they are not fighting over waivers or legal changes like Sinclair has. In fact, I can certainly see this deal being closed before Sinclair-Tribune, despite starting 13 months earlier. The UHF discount is irrelevant here.

 

Many are calling for a post-merger name of "Graycom"...easy to do with the Gray logo by adding three letters to the name.

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I've been surprised that Sinclair has kept the KTVU simulcasts going. I figured they would've ditched those for newscasts produced by KRNV by now.

 

Are the newscasts really that popular in Reno?

 

I really don't know. I was surprised to see that myself. KRXI also has some of KRNV's newscast load (midday and I think one other early newscast) for attribution/15% reasons.

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I really don't know. I was surprised to see that myself. KRXI also has some of KRNV's newscast load (midday and I think one other early newscast) for attribution/15% reasons.

 

Its just 7-9am and midday at noon.

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

 

Well you get your cord cut and see how it feels.

Have a little sympathy for those poor guys at ESPN...they are a fragile bunch right now.

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Many are calling for a post-merger name of "Graycom"...easy to do with the Gray logo by adding three letters to the name.

 

Hey, Gray's corporate name prior to 2003 was Gray Communications Systems, so Graycom could fit in that regard.

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I've been surprised that Sinclair has kept the KTVU simulcasts going. I figured they would've ditched those for newscasts produced by KRNV by now.

 

Are the newscasts really that popular in Reno?

 

Yes, it really is. During the days Cox owned the station, the other Reno stations approached them to do a 10 pm local news. Cox said no every time. They didn't need to pay a Reno station to produce a news program when simulcasting a show from 200 miles away already got good ratings.

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Do people still call it Action News?

As soon as Bill Applegate retired, "19 Action News" and their infamous tabloid pressroom presentation was on death's door.

 

That being said, "Cleveland 19 News" is still the stupidest name for a newscast this market has ever seen, and I witnessed "ei8ht IS NEWS" first-hand.

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