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Gray Television to buy Meredith


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You're watching ABC 58/68.2/17.2/40.2 News at 5...Coverage You Can Count On.

Never.  That ship sailed a long time ago.  Even if it was a viable possibility, it was back before Meredith owned channel 17 and WTBS was the "Superstation" that brought TBS to the rest of the country

The new name sounds like a morse code mistake.

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Posted (edited)

Big news for them. Gray is HQ in Atlanta and will give them a Flagship in CBS 46 WGCL (A city they also announced they are building a whole studio city in the metro... new studios for 46?). Also, helps them complete their Alabama cluster with getting Mobile, something Raycom never did. Also gives them every major market in Tennessee, South Carolina and Missouri. Plus Arizona and Nevada. Lot of good synergy with this purchase and helps them grow into a major player like Nexstar and Sinclair have in the past few years. 

 

Interesting note in the press release: " Gray currently operates in only one of these television markets, the Flint-Saginaw DMA. To facilitate regulatory approvals for this transaction, Gray will divest its ABC affiliate in the market, WJRT-TV, to an independent third-party no later than the closing of the Meredith acquisition."  I assume, WNEM (CBS)  is the higher rated station in that market over WJRT (ABC)? Usually Gray keeps the station they already own in a market. 

Edited by Working4You
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The only surprise is that they are selling WJRT and picking up WNEM.

 

However, everything else you could see from a mile away. This has probably been in discussion for a while.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Working4You said:

Big news for them. Gray is HQ in Atlanta and will give them a Flagship in CBS 46 WGCL (A city they also announced they are building a whole studio city in the metro... new studios for 46?). Also, helps them complete their Alabama cluster with getting Mobile, something Raycom never did. Also gives them every major market in Tennessee, South Carolina and Missouri. Plus Arizona and Nevada. Lot of good synergy with this purchase and helps them grow into a major player like Nexstar and Sinclair have in the past few years. 

 

Interesting note in the press release: " Gray currently operates in only one of these television markets, the Flint-Saginaw DMA. To facilitate regulatory approvals for this transaction, Gray will divest its ABC affiliate in the market, WJRT-TV, to an independent third-party no later than the closing of the Meredith acquisition."  I assume, WNEM (CBS)  is the higher rated station in that market over WJRT (ABC)? Usually Gray keeps the station they already own in a market. 

It doesn’t give them every market in Missouri. The Meredith deal will add Kansas City and St. Louis to Gray’s properties in Springfield, Kirksville-Ottumwa and Cape Girardeau, but Gray will still lack properties in Joplin (occupied by Morgan Murphy and Nexstar), St. Joseph (occupied by Heartland and NPG) and Columbia-Jefferson City (affiliate ownership there is occupied by NPG, Sinclair and the University of Missouri-Columbia) once the deal is closed.

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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between their acquisitions of Raycom Quincy and now Meredith Gray is now positioned to be #2 in revenue nationwide

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17 minutes ago, T.L. Hughes said:

It doesn’t give them every market in Missouri. The Meredith deal will add Kansas City and St. Louis to Gray’s properties in Springfield, Kirksville-Ottumwa and Cape Girardeau, but Gray will still lack properties in Joplin (occupied by Morgan Murphy and Nexstar), St. Joseph (occupied by Heartland and NPG) and Columbia-Jefferson City (affiliate ownership there is occupied by NPG, Sinclair and the University of Missouri-Columbia) once the deal is closed.

 

Of those, Joplin would be the biggest reach and probably out of play except for a trade, as Morgan Murphy does not fit Gray at all. Columbia could be reached through KOMU (probably with a stipulation that the university will keep the news department) while St. Joseph could be reached through the Heartland remnants.

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50 minutes ago, GoldenShine9 said:

The only surprise is that they are selling WJRT and picking up WNEM.

 

However, everything else you could see from a mile away. This has probably been in discussion for a while.

 

Cable in Flint carries WXYZ.  Keeping WNEM means they don't have to compete with Detroit.

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I think this could be a game changer for WGCL. They have long been ignored under Meredith, but a locally-based owner cannot do such. They are probably happy to finally be breaking free.

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1 minute ago, GoldenShine9 said:

I think this could be a game changer for WGCL. They have long been ignored under Meredith, but a locally-based owner cannot do such. They are probably happy to finally be breaking free.

KDAF would beg to differ on that argument 

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Posted (edited)

Eventually WGGB will have an owner for longer than a decade, but at least Gray is a great steward of small-market stations. Only odd thing is that WFSB and WGGB/WSHM-LD's nearest sister is Burlington, but at least they have Boston surrounded with stations now.

 

Best thing though? Meredith's weird 'you can only watch streaming news on our apps or a really hidden site link' strategy is now in the trash. Looking forward to seeing these stations on Vuit for sure, and wondering if this also comes with something for the People TV show involving Gray picking that up for their stations.

Edited by mrschimpf
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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, mrschimpf said:

Eventually WGGB will have an owner for longer than a decade, but at least Gray is a great steward of small-market stations. Only odd thing is that WFSB and WGGB/WSHM-LD's nearest sister is Burlington, but at least they have Boston surrounded with stations now.

 

Best thing though? Meredith's weird 'you can only watch streaming news on our apps or a really hidden site link' strategy is now in the trash. Looking forward to seeing these stations on Vuit for sure, and wondering if this also comes with something for the People TV show involving Gray picking that up for their stations.

 

VUit already has the Meredith stations on their service along with the Morgan Murphy ones. It's been that way since last year.

Edited by TennTV1983
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3 hours ago, GoldenShine9 said:

 

Yes they will be.

 

I wonder what their news graphics will look like as Gray stations (if it'll be any different from the graphics of their soon-to-be-former Meredith ownerships).

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2 minutes ago, RGSJenkins said:

Does anybody want to buy a former ABC O&O?

 

Wjrt2007.png

 

IMO, it's between Scripps and Allen. The latter has already bought from Gray once and would certainly do so again, while the former has a lot of upside (they own in 3 Michigan markets and Flint would be the 4th) but may have to trade something (i.e. a loose Ion station) to create cap room.

5 minutes ago, bmasters1 said:

 

I wonder what their news graphics will look like as Gray stations (if it'll be any different from the graphics of their soon-to-be-former Meredith ownerships).

 

WOIO has graphics very much like the current Meredith package. Maybe that will be adopted at more stations? By then, the current Gray package would be over 3 years old.

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1 minute ago, bmasters1 said:

 

I wonder what their news graphics will look like as Gray stations (if it'll be any different from the graphics of their soon-to-be-former Meredith ownerships).

 

It'll be whatever Gray's CSD in Omaha puts out there as I don't think they would want to keep any of Matt Quinn's stuff post-acquisition.

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19 minutes ago, TennTV1983 said:

 

It'll be whatever Gray's CSD in Omaha puts out there as I don't think they would want to keep any of Matt Quinn's stuff post-acquisition.

The Meredith graphics hub is a “local media group” division and is included in the sale to Gray. I’m interested to see how they integrate the Meredith graphics team, if at all.
 

Also included is in the sale is Meredith’s Dynamic Captioning.

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad this deal is finally a reality.   Now here's hoping that Gray undoes all of the damage Meredith did over the last year just to try and keep the lights on.  Mainly with all of the carnage in creative services being hubbed out to Nashville.  One of Nexstar's first orders of business was to close down the MGFX graphics hub under Media General and move artists back into the stations.

 

Gray's always seemed more of a locally focused company with their advertising, so that's another opportunity to grow revenue.

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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26 minutes ago, GoldenShine9 said:

 

IMO, it's between Scripps and Allen. The latter has already bought from Gray once and would certainly do so again, while the former has a lot of upside (they own in 3 Michigan markets and Flint would be the 4th) but may have to trade something

What are the chances Allen was already in on talks of this happening with the last deal? He said he wanted to buy more stations going forward... Could this have been a possible contingency?

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Now there will be people arguing which is the worst Gray TV station and to usually mention WOIO and WGCL as the candidates.

 

Ironically, in addition to now being under common ownership, those two were part of the big network switch of 1994-96 with both stations flipping to CBS.

 

Could there be some from 'GCL moving to 'OIO or the other way around?

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I'm hoping this will be a positive for WGCL.  Much of their trouble has been directly related to Meredith's management of the station ever since it was traded from Tribune.   Having company headquarters and their investment in Atlanta hopefully is a major positive and some incentive to really bring this station up to flagship standards.  WPCH could also be raised to a higher standing, much like Ted Turner did when it was WTBS.

 

WOIO?  It's seemingly been cursed from day one going all the way back to Malrite and the switch to CBS.   If gray is not going to put the legwork into making them a major player, it could be sale bait should Gray want to grow any larger.

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What are the WGCL studios like, facility wise? I could certainly see those moved over to the new Doraville site when constructed. If they add an office component, they could move their corporate HQ there too.

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