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Gray Television to buy Meredith


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A quick update.

 

On October 8, the DOJ gave this deal an early termination of the 30-day waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) act. This means that it has cleared them of any antitrust issues (since they have already remedied the issue by divesting WJRT to Allen).

 

So all they need now is the FCC greenlight, plus shareholder approval. Meredith announced yesterday (11/9) that the shareholders will vote in a special meeting on 11/30; and the spin-off date would be the next day (12/1).

 

Hopefully, Gray & IAC can complete their respective deals once the spin-off is completed.

 

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

The new name sounds like a morse code mistake.

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

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56 minutes ago, TexasTVNews said:

And with Gray headquarters in Atlanta, GA, this makes WGCL the parent company of Gray.

In 18 days, Gray will be the new parent company of WGCL. As its flagship station.  

 

 

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New General Managers have been named at several of the soon-to-be Gray stations:

 

▪️ In Atlanta, Georgia, Erik Schrader will become the General Manager of WGCL and WPCH, replacing Deborah Collura.

▪️ In Phoenix, Arizona, Debbie Bush will become the General Manager of KPHO and KTVK, replacing Kevin James.

▪️ In Nashville, Tennessee, Jasmine Hatcher Hardin will become the General Manager of WSMV replacing Rene LaSpina.

▪️ In Kansas City, Missouri, Andrew Stewart will become the General Manager of KCTV and KSMO, replacing Charles Henrich.

▪️ In Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, Bryce Caldwell will become the General Manager of WHNS, replacing Kevin Holub

▪️ In Mobile, Alabama, Eric Duncan will become the General Manager of WALA. FOX10 News.  Corey Hanson had been the GM but she took over the role at KPTV in Portland when that opened up.  GSM Michael Strickler has been serving in an interim role since then.

https://graytv.gcs-web.com/node/18811/pdf

Edited by tyrannical bastard
updated Phoenix and WHNS GM replacee-s.
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Any word on the Meredith graphics hub?

6 hours ago, lugnuts6 said:

Grey broadcasting is based out of atlanta, hence its flagship stations would become WGCL/ WPCH TV 

This is not their flagship. I promise you that. Opportunity, yes. But not flagship. Those labels are truly only meant for the most profitable assets. 

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5 hours ago, GoldenShine9 said:

That's probably just the first round of new hires. I'd expect most, if not all, the (soon to be ex-)Meredith stations to have new GM's.

Many of these are relatively new, only being appointed in their now-current roles for a little over a year.  Of course, a change of command in Atlanta was a given.  Gray must feel good about Erik Schrader's contributions to WOIO/WUAB since coming there.

 

These stations have been through a lot of turmoil (and upheaval) at Meredith's behest, and hopefully Gray can solidify them and hopefully restore some stability and in some cases, former glory.   

Atlanta especially, since it will be their largest market, their home base, and a large base of operations already there and in the works....

 

Given these choices, it's clear that Gray is looking to un-do all the damage Meredith did to their stations last year in order to keep the lights on.

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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I had a feeling someone from WOIO was going to end up at WGCL (not counting past staff moves where there was a stop or two between the two stations).  I wonder what Schrader is going to do in Atlanta and who will replace him in Cleveland.  Not to mention how the next GM is going to run 19/43.

 

I will give Schrader credit for cleaning up the mess that was "Cleveland 19" and getting the station back on track with better news branding and programming.

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Can anyone post what ftvlive’s paywall article said today about more changes to come in Atlanta?

 

and yeah.. the gm and nd have only been there a year and a half. They have made some good tweaks, but the ND has made some horrible hires and let go of some really good people. They had an incredible investigative reporter.. who has been replaced with a piece of limp toast. 

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11 minutes ago, newsman123 said:

Can anyone post what ftvlive’s paywall article said today about more changes to come in Atlanta?

 

and yeah.. the gm and nd have only been there a year and a half. They have made some good tweaks, but the ND has made some horrible hires and let go of some really good people. They had an incredible investigative reporter.. who has been replaced with a piece of limp toast. 

 

Removing some of Scott's editorializing...

 

"Yesterday, Gray announced that GM Deborah Collura was going to be replaced.

 Gray named WOIO (Cleveland) GM Erick Schrader as Collura's replacement. 

[...]

One current WOIO staffer said this about Schrader, "Our staffing here at WOIO is down almost half of what it was when he got here.  He (Schrader) went through with buyouts for employees hoping to weed out those making a decent wage.  Most of the reporters now are MMJ's so no need for as many photographers.  And he got rid of editors.  In order to get the shows on the air, we now have to take a photographer (1 per shift) out of the loop so they can cut the shows," the WOIO employee said to FTVLive. 

Atlanta might have been hoping for a turnaround specialist, but they may be getting someone that will look to make deep cuts, according to some WOIO insiders. 

Some newsroom staffers are wondering how long News Director Matt King will be lasting. King has been at the station less than two years and the bets are he doesn't make it 6 months more at the station.

[...]

Does Gray really want to try and turn it around and spend the money needed to do that? Or, are they looking to gut the place, run it on the cheap and let it continue to be the Atlanta market bottom-feeder? 

Some believe that the hiring of Erick Schrader might have tipped Gray's hand as to which way they are going to go."

 

An article from yesterday hinted that WPCH/PeachtreeTV will become the home of and testing ground for a lot Gray-produced programming.

Edited by 24994J
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1 hour ago, 24994J said:

An article from yesterday hinted that WPCH/PeachtreeTV will become the home of and testing ground for a lot Gray-produced programming.

That's my hope.  Considering that it was once WTBS, and all of the things Ted Turner did with that station, Gray could use it as a launching pad for more original content. 

 

The days of it becoming a SuperStation again via pay TV are long gone, but it could become a virtual one through OTT and VUit and spawn regional variants.

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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I hope the Meredith graphics don’t get replaced by graphics used by the former Raycom stations, and if they do, I absolutely hope None of you say Good Riddance to the Meredith graphics. IMO, replacing the Meredith graphics with the Post-Raycom graphics would be a horrible downgrade.

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A few more General Manager shuffles, some as a result of yesterday's moves:

https://tvnewscheck.com/top-news/business/article/gray-names-6-more-new-general-managers/

 

-Matt Moran moves from WSAZ/WQCW to WOIO/WUAB to replace Erik Schrader, who will now be heading up WGCL/WPCH.

-David Hughes takes over WSAZ/WQCW to replace Matt Moran (see above).  

-Laura Serbon gets promoted from GSM to GM at WVIR, replacing David Hughes (see above)

-Jim Mckernan gets moved from WEEK Peoria to WOWT Omaha, and Peter Russell is moved up from GSM/Station Manager to General Manager of WEEK.

-Pete Veto takes over WVLT/WBXX replacing Jasmine Hatcher Hardin, who got bumped over to Nashville and WSMV.  He was a GM at WJRT (under Gray before it's sale) and also served as a GM at WTVG in Toledo

 

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2 hours ago, TheRob said:

Meredith stripped their stations pretty hard before the sale. I'm not sure Gray can do much more.

WFSB and WGGB are likely very happy to have sister stations nearby they can drive to rather than fly to. For all the guff we give the graphics (which I have no issue with outside the "swoosh!"), their universal ticker is a whole lot more rich and informative than what Meredith has ever had and isn't obnoxiously screen-squashing on snow days.

 

I'd still also like to know if on day one Gray tosses "People (The TV Show!)" to the curb like they did "Hollywood Today Live" when they got WBAY and KWQC. I've heard absolutely no buzz about it, they don't like to pay for scratch-rated filler (on their ABC stations they took ABC News Live's CMA pre-show over ET, which had to use its late-night repeat instead to air), and though Meredith plugged in a two-year renewal days after the merger was announced, it was only on the Meredith stations and can easily be revoked.

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52 minutes ago, mrschimpf said:

WFSB and WGGB are likely very happy to have sister stations nearby they can drive to rather than fly to. For all the guff we give the graphics (which I have no issue with outside the "swoosh!"), their universal ticker is a whole lot more rich and informative than what Meredith has ever had and isn't obnoxiously screen-squashing on snow days.

 

I'd still also like to know if on day one Gray tosses "People (The TV Show!)" to the curb like they did "Hollywood Today Live" when they got WBAY and KWQC. I've heard absolutely no buzz about it, they don't like to pay for scratch-rated filler (on their ABC stations they took ABC News Live's CMA pre-show over ET, which had to use its late-night repeat instead to air), and though Meredith plugged in a two-year renewal days after the merger was announced, it was only on the Meredith stations and can easily be revoked.

 

I'm guessing that will be the case. Gray will have no right to those properties.

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I should point out that Meredith announced that the DOJ has cleared the Dotdash transaction. The waiting period (under the HSR act) expired on 11/12. So that gives it the greenlight for that deal.

 

So expect both Gray & IAC to close their deals after the spin-off of the assets is completed two weeks from tonight.

 

On 11/16/2021 at 10:29 PM, mrschimpf said:

I'd still also like to know if on day one Gray tosses "People (The TV Show!)" to the curb like they did "Hollywood Today Live" when they got WBAY and KWQC. I've heard absolutely no buzz about it, they don't like to pay for scratch-rated filler (on their ABC stations they took ABC News Live's CMA pre-show over ET, which had to use its late-night repeat instead to air), and though Meredith plugged in a two-year renewal days after the merger was announced, it was only on the Meredith stations and can easily be revoked.

I would like to know whether Dotdash (Meredith's NMG successor) is even going to keep the program going past this TV season. What's the point in keeping the show when you only have about less than 15% of the country is carrying it. Sell the show to the masses or get rid of it.

Edited by CircleSeven
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