Gray Television Buys Schurz Communications
September 14, 2015 at 4:51 PM (PT)
GRAY TELEVISION has announced that it is buying SCHURZ COMMUNICATIONS for $442.5 million. The deal includes SCHURZ' radio properties -- Classic Rock KFXS-K245BD (100.3 THE FOX), Top 40 KRCS-K234BR-K248BT-K252DN-K280AJ (HOT 93.1), Country KOUT-K272CS (KAT COUNTRY 98.7), and Hot AC KKMK-K223BT (93.9 THE MIX)/RAPID CITY, SD; AC WNSN (SUNNY 101.5), News-Talk WSBT-A-W241AD, Classic Hits WZOC (Z94.3), and (via LMA) Country WHFB (NEW COUNTRY 99.9)/SOUTH BEND; and Country WKOA (K105), Oldies WASK-F, Top 40 WXXB (B102.9), and Sports WASK-A (ESPN 1450 AM)/LAFAYETTE, IN -- as well as TV stations in several markets.
GRAY has been on an acquisition run in recent years, in many cases merging TV stations by transferring one station's programming to a digital subchannel of a sister station and selling off the spare station, allowing the company to retain both network affiliations. The deal will include GRAY spinning off ABC affiliate KAKE-TV/WICHITA and NBC affiliate WSBT-TV/SOUTH BEND and merging NBC/CW affiliate WAGT-TV/AUGUSTA, GA into new sister CBS affiliate WRDW-TV and placing WAGT's license in the spectrum auction. Radio represents less than one percent of the combined GRAY-SCHURZ's total broadcast cash flow (about $348 million) on a pro forma basis.
"Today is a momentous day in GRAY's 118-year history," said GRAY President/CEO HOLTON H. HOWELL, JR. "Through the SCHURZ transaction, we will significantly expand the quality of our portfolio of leading television stations. We welcome more dedicated reporters, account executives, and technologists to our growing family. Quite simply, GRAY's existing stations will make the SCHURZ stations stronger, while the SCHURZ stations will make our existing stations better."
"In a rapidly consolidating industry where size and scale matter more than ever before, we have come to the realization that GRAY TELEVISION would be the best steward to ensure our stations succeed over the long-term," added SCHURZ President-CEO TODD SCHURZ. "GRAY knows how to operate top stations in small and medium-sized markets, and they have an entrepreneurial and decentralized culture. Moreover, GRAY shares our commitment to local communities, staffs, journalistic ideals, and the broadcasting industry. Being part of a larger company with these important credentials will create more opportunities for employees and the communities that we all love."